WINNIPEG, March 27, 2017 /CNW/ - The well-being of Indigenous children and families is a priority for the Government of Canada. We are taking action and working with partners to help ensure that children receive the health and social services they need, when they need it.
Today the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett reaffirmed Canada's commitment to reforming First Nations child and family services. Canada is providing Manitoba First Nations, through its partnership with the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, $550,000 to help support Canada's engagement activities that began last fall and will continue into the summer.
Manitoba Child and family services engagement activities include meetings in First Nation communities, meetings with Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs elders and youth, meetings with First Nation child and family services providers, including frontline workers, and conferences with stakeholders such as First Nation education directors, teachers, health directors, health providers, and social workers.
"We need to get this right, which is why we are working in partnership with Manitoba First Nations and child welfare agencies, to understand the needs and their vision for reform of Child and Family Services. Today's funding announcement will help agencies develop and implement culturally based visions and identify their actual needs. Ongoing engagement will help create a new funding formula -that for the first time- will actually address the transformation necessary to deliver culturally appropriate service delivery in First Nation communities"
The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, M.D., P.C., M.P.
Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs
"This federal government has committed to listening and ensuring indigenous families are involved in the necessary transformation of how our children are protected in our communities. Despite political pressures, putting more money into the Manitoba Child & Family Services (CFS) industry is not a viable option because the system is financially incentivized to apprehend children and keep them maintained away from their family. Successful real change, which is the goal of our engagement and subsequent recommendations, will be measured by the ability of our agencies to focus their energies on family restoration, as opposed to child apprehension."
Grand Chief Derek Nepinak
Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs
- The child and family services engagement in Manitoba is being coordinated by the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, with Canada providing funding of $413,301 in 2016-2017 and $140,938 in 2017-2018.
- The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs will hold a special one-day meeting this summer to review the information it's gathered and create a report by June 30, 2017, to be included with the findings and results of Canada's broader engagement.
Consultation and engagement at Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
Improving child and family services in First Nations communities: Engagement 2016-2017
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SOURCE Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
For further information: media may contact: Sabrina Williams, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, 613-697-8316; INAC Media Relations, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, 819-953-1160