EDMONTON, Feb. 20, 2018 /CNW/ - The federal government is committed to working in partnership with First Nations, and all levels of government, to improve and support the delivery of protection and prevention services for First Nation child and family services.
Today, the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Indigenous Services, joined Grand Chief Rupert Meneen of Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta to celebrate the official grand opening of the Nations of Treaty 8 Urban Child and Family Services Office in Edmonton.
The Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta designed the concept of an urban office as an approach to provide prevention and early intervention services to children and families on reserve. The Urban Office will provide services to children who are currently in the care of the First Nation child and family service agencies and placed in urban centres.
The federal government is investing approximately $4.2 million in funding to support the Nations of Treaty 8 Urban Child and Family Services Office. The Urban Office will adhere to provincial policies and legislation, but will use provincially approved Treaty 6, 7 and 8 First Nations practice standards. This concept will be expanded to off reserve Treaty 8 First Nation children and families in the future.
"Ensuring the wellbeing of First Nations children and families is a shared priority amongst all partners. The Nations of Treaty 8 Urban Child and Family Services Office is a fantastic example of First Nations-led programming will do just that – providing prevention and early intervention services regardless if a child is living on reserve or in an urban setting. Our government is proud to support the Nations of Treaty 8 Urban Office and I am delighted to have attended today's grand opening in Edmonton."
The Honourable Jane Philpott, M.D., P.C., M.P.
Minister of Indigenous Services
"The Chiefs of Treaty 8 continue to support the hard work our agencies and Delegated First Nation Agency directors do in order to address the needs of our families and children. We recognized that we need to lead the way in helping the high number of our children in care and the best way to do this is to establish our own jurisdiction and legislation, made by and for Treaty 8 citizens. This Nations of Treaty 8 Urban Office is a small but concrete step towards taking care of our own children and families on and off reserve.
I also recognize and acknowledge that this would not have been possible without the help of the Department of Indigenous Services and the Ministry of Children's Services, specifically Minister Bennett and Minister Larivee, both of whom understood and supported this work."
Chief Rupert Meneen
Grand Chief Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta
"This is a historic event for Treaty 8 and it is important that we acknowledge that it was the Elders who have long advocated for this to happen. Since Indian Residential Schools, Elders, many of whom did not live to see this day come to pass, have asked us to bring our children home. Elders such as Mary Kappo, Alice Halcrow, Joe Whitehead Sr., Flora Willier, Rita Auger and Mabel Grey.
I acknowledge and thank the Treaty 8 Delegated First Nation Agency directors who have worked so diligently to honour the wishes of our Elders. They have recognized that as Indigenous Peoples we need to make sure that all of our children are looked after, regardless of where they live. It is our duty to make sure they are put back in touch with their culture and communities. This new office will make sure of that."
Erica Jagodzinsky, Chairman, the Nations of Treaty 8 Urban Child and Family Services Office,
Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta
- The Nations of Treaty 8 Urban Child and Family Services Office provides cultural services to First Nations families living in urban centres. The long-term vision is for multiple Urban Offices to provide services to all First Nations children in care in Alberta.
- The Urban Office concept will support First Nations who wish to connect with their children regardless of their residency in urban areas or on reserve.
- The Urban Office will work with the province of Alberta on becoming a delegated entity so that the Nations of Treaty 8 Urban Office can provide protection and prevention services to First Nation children and families residing in Edmonton.
- In Budget 2016, the federal government invested $635 million over five years to address the funding gap in First Nations Child and Family Services and support front-line service providers.
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SOURCE Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
For further information: media may contact: Andrew MacKendrick, Office of the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Indigenous Services, 613-769-7066; Media Relations, Indigenous Services Canada, 819-953-1160