TORONTO, June 17, 2013 /CNW/ - Anishinabek Nation leaders have told
provincial government officials that their children in care deserve the
right to their culture.
"We need to leave here today with long and short term goals in place,"
said Deputy Grand Council Chief Glen Hare, part of a delegation who met
with Teresa Piruzza, Minister of Children and Youth Services. "We need
to see a nation-to-nation approach where leaders from both sides work
together on solutions in the interest of our children. The Anishinabek
Nation has requested that the Minister respect our culture and our
identity. Our children are our responsibility and Ontario needs to
"Our kids deserve the right to their culture, their biological family
and to their home community - that connection is an important part of
their identity and when they miss out we all miss out," said Hare.
Chiefs told Minister Piruzza that the Children's Aid Society has to
accept some responsibility for disrupting the family unit in First
"Anishinabek culture is centered around our children," said Lake Huron
Regional Chief Isadore Day, Wiindawtegowinini. "We strive to protect the future for the next generation. This goal
can only be achieved if we take direct control of Child Welfare.
"It is the intent of Anishinabek First Nations to provide options and
next steps on jurisdiction - moving beyond the current situation where
other governments and their agencies claim authority over our children.
This meeting presents an opportunity to set the record straight:
jurisdiction must be recognized and built into our nation building
process. We remain optimistic that we may finally establish a
commitment from Ontario."
The Anishinabek Nation has developed its own Child Welfare Law after
several years of consultation with citizens and leadership with the
goal of transitioning of responsibility and services from provincial
agencies to First Nation authority.
Giimaa Duke Peltier, Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve, saw the meeting
as an opportunity to set the record straight.
"The fact is, Ontario and its agencies don't belong in First Nation
communities and they definitely don't belong in the homes of First
Nation families," said Peltier. "Ontario must recognize First Nation
organizations and begin the process of transferring full and capable
responsibility to First Nations for First Nation children."
Minister Piruzza committed to working with First Nations and
acknowledged the concerns of First Nations surrounding the health and
wellbeing of First Nation children. In her closing comments the
Minister stated that Ontario would work with First Nations in finding
The Anishinabek Nation established the Union of Ontario Indians as its
secretariat in 1949. The UOI is a political advocate for 39 member
communities across Ontario, representing approximately 55,000 people.
The Union of Ontario Indians is the oldest political organization in
Ontario and can trace its roots back to the Confederacy of Three Fires,
which existed long before European contact.
SOURCE: Anishinabek Nation
For further information:
Marci Becking, Communications Officer
Phone: 705-497-9127 ext. 2290
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