OTTAWA, Dec. 7, 2017 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada remains committed to renewing the relationship between Canada and Indigenous Peoples and working collaboratively with First Nations in Manitoba to support services that address the challenges faced by their communities.
Today the Minister of Indigenous Services, the Honourable Jane Philpott, along with the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett and Grand Chief Arlen Dumas of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs signed a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at achieving concrete outcomes in child welfare, and supporting the needs and aspirations of First Nations in Manitoba.
Recent census data shows just how dramatically over-represented Indigenous children are in the child welfare system, and this has a severe impact on First Nations communities in Manitoba.
The MOU demonstrates Canada's commitment to work with First Nations in Manitoba on a nation to nation basis toward the well-being of First Nations families and children.
"The signing of this Memorandum of Understanding is an important step forward, focusing on improvements that First Nations in Manitoba want to see in the child welfare system. This work will also ensure that our collaborative efforts will result in fewer children in care, and more children reunited with their families and communities."
The Honourable Jane Philpott, M.D., P.C., M.P.
Minister of Indigenous Services
"This Memorandum of Understanding will allow us to work in true partnership to focus the dialogue on First Nations Child and Family Services in Manitoba. This will result in fewer children in care, and reaffirms the Treaty and Aboriginal Rights of Manitoba First Nations and Canada's commitment to nation-to-nation dialogue on child and family well-being."
The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, M.D., P.C., M.P.
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs
"In unanimously endorsing the Memorandum of Understanding, Manitoba Chiefs support the position that First Nation jurisdiction of child welfare must be exercised. This position finds its roots in the historical work of Wahbung: Our Tomorrow and the Framework Agreement Initiative. The more recent Bringing Our Children Home Report and Keewaywin: Our Way Home Engagement Sessions also support transitioning to a First Nations' system. Our grassroots citizens insist we take back jurisdiction of our children and enhance First Nation capacity in all areas to address the Child and Family Services crisis in Manitoba."
Grand Chief Arlen Dumas
Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs
- The Government of Canada is investing $635 million over five years to address the funding gap in First Nations CFS and has committed up to $385 million over three years for a broader approach to Jordan's Principle.
- Indigenous children make up 7.7% of Canadian children, yet 52.2% of children in foster care are indigenous.
- In Manitoba, over 11,000 children are in CFS care ̶ with over 90 percent of those children being indigenous.
- 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.
Federal Government Supporting Manitoba First Nations' Plans that Focus on Family Restoration
Canada supports engagement with Manitoba First Nations on child and family services
Reforming First Nations child welfare: Summary of engagement
First Nations child and family services reform: Minister's Special Representative meetings in Manitoba
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: Andrew MacKendrick, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Jane Philpott, 819-956-5372; Sabrina Williams, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, 613-697-8316; Media Relations, Indigenous Services Canada, 819-953-1160