First Nations children at risk: Madahbee

TORONTO, Nov. 16 /CNW/ - Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee along with other Chiefs of First Nations in Ontario are meeting with the Ministry of Children and Youth Services Minister Laurel Broten to discuss the funding cuts being imposed on a number of native mandated child protection agencies.

"4.6 million dollars in funding cuts for Native child welfare agencies will put our children at risk," says Madahbee. "Some of our agencies report that they will not have the funds necessary to provide the required services mandated by the Child and Family Services Act."

Madahbee also says that First Nations child welfare agencies were already being funded at levels 22 per cent below provincial agencies across Canada before the announced cuts.

Child protection is an essential service mandated by the Child and Family Services Act for which Minister Broten is responsible for.

Grand Council Chief Madahbee is calling on the Minister to restore the 20% in funding cuts imposed on our Native Child Welfare Agencies. Dilico Anishinabek Family Care is also feeling the effects of the cuts on their current budgets and forecast more shortfalls in the future should MCYS continue to use the current funding framework.

The legacy that Jordan River Anderson left was one of equality of services for all children. We urge the Ministry to live up to Ontario's pledge and restore the 4.6 million in funding cuts being imposed on our Native child welfare agencies.

Jordan's Principle is a child first principle to resolve jurisdictional disputes within, and between governments, regarding payment for government services provided to First Nations children. In Canada, there is a lack of clarity between the federal and provincial/territorial governments around who should pay for government services for First Nations children even when the services are normally available to other children.

The Anishinabek Nation established the Union of Ontario Indians (UOI) as its secretariat in 1949. The UOI is a political advocate for 41 member First Nations across Ontario. 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: For further information: Marci Becking, Communications Officer, Union of Ontario Indians, (705) 497-9127 ext. 2290, Cell: (705) 494-0735, becmar@anishinabek.ca

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Anishinabek Nation

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Union of Ontario Indians

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