First Nations Child and Family Services in Ontario – 2018-04-12
COMMITMENT TO POLICY AND FUNDING REFORM
First Nations Child and Family Services in Ontario
On January 25-26, 2018, Indigenous Services Canada held a national Emergency Meeting to talk directly with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation leadership, and federal, provincial, and territorial government counterparts. The meeting helped to underline the need for us to move forward with work together on policy and funding reform in the area of child and family services, and to identify shared priorities for that work.
Our shared goal is to develop new policy and funding approaches for First Nations child and family services in Ontario.
To achieve this goal, we commit to respecting the diverse First Nations’ perspectives on child well-being and First Nations’ cultures, control, laws, jurisdiction and autonomy.
The joint Commitment to child and family services reform provides an important next step in this work. It identifies our shared commitment to develop new policy and funding approaches that provide the capacity to First Nations communities to deliver child-centered, community-directed, more comprehensive, and prevention-focused child and family services. This will support our shared commitment to reduce the number of First Nations children in care and realize the principle of substantive equality.
To arrive at the goal, the Parties will review mechanisms to support a new funding and/or service delivery approach, such as the child welfare component of the 1965 Memorandum of Agreement Respecting Welfare Programs for Indians.
This Statement of Commitment is not intended to create or alter legal obligations on the part of any entity or to create, redefine, impact the interpretation of, prejudice or affect the rights or jurisdiction of any entity.
For greater certainty, nothing in this Statement of Commitment shall be construed so as to abrogate or derogate from the protection provided for existing Aboriginal or treaty rights of the Aboriginal peoples of Canada by the recognition and affirmation of these rights in section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982.
Signed and agreed to by the Parties on the dates set out below:
The Honourable Michael Coteau, M.P.P., Minister of Children and Youth Services, Minister of Community and Social Services, and Minister Responsible for Anti-Racism, Government of Ontario
The Honourable Jane Philpott, M.D., P.C., M.P., Minister of Indigenous Services, Government of Canada
Isadore Day, Ontario Regional Chief, Chiefs of Ontario
Abram Benedict, Grand Chief, Mohawk Council of Akewsasne
Alvin Fiddler, Grand Chief, Nishnawbe Aski Nation
Arnold Paul, Chief, Temagami First Nation
Ava Hill, Chief, Six Nations of the Grand River
Cam Goodman, Councillor, Animbiigoo Zaagi’igan Anishinaabek
Elaine Johnston, Chief, Serpent River First Nation
Francis Kavanaugh, Grand Chief, Grand Council Treaty #3
Joel Abram, Grand Chief, Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians
Jonathan Solomon, Grand Chief, Mushkegowuk Tribal Council
Patrick Madahbee, Grand Council Chief, Anishinabek Nation (Union of Ontario Indians)