Indigenous Services Minister Jane Filport announced on Friday that the federal government plans to hand over control of child welfare services to indigenous governments in an effort to reduce the number of indigenous children in foster families.
The philip, standing together with the national leaders of the First Nations, Inuit and Metis, said that the upcoming federal legislation, developed with indigenous leaders, would give power to the peoples of the First Nations, Euiti and Metis to take care of their children who have need for care.
It is a departure from the functioning of the current system, making most of the indigenous children housed in provincially regulated child welfare systems, for which critics say they are reckless about their unique needs.
While only 7.7 per cent of all children under 14 are indigenous, they account for 52.2 per cent of all children in foster care – stunning numbers that require some response, Philp said.
Many are afraid of the current system – who regularly takes children from their families and communities and places them with foster parents – repeats the mistakes made by the Indian residential school system and through the sixties, alienating children from their traditional language, culture and support networks .
"For over a century, on the basis of discriminatory policies of power, we took children away from their families. It started with residential schools, continued with the sixties, and today children are taken from their families" The Filop on Friday.
"This legislation is a milestone to say" No more. ""
'Sixties' refers to the practice in Canada decades after the late 1950s for the indiscriminate removal of indigenous children from their homes and their placement in care or adoption.
The assembly of the head of the first nation, Perry Bellegarde, said the child welfare system should, instead, focus on preventing family problems in the first place.
"The first nations are ready to reform children's and family services in a way that respects our rights, cultures and family structures. The first nations for years have been sticking to obsolete laws and we continue to experience traumas and losses when children are broken and families, "said Belengarde.
Alvin Fiddler is the chief head of the Nishvabae heritage, a collection for the first nations in North Ontario. He also welcomed the promise of new legislation as a way to remove "uncertainty" over the current, child welfare system.
"Federal legislation on the indigenous well-being of children has the potential to guarantee our right to take care of our children in a way that is in line with our cultural traditions and values … (i) provide a basis for responsibility, and in honor of our inherent rights, "he said.
The film said Ottawa is already working to reduce financial incentives for child custody agencies, departing from a funding model that has been linked to the number of children taking care of.
The film has previously promised to put an end to what it calls a "perverse" system that turns children from indigenous children into "commodities."
Those who advocate for reforms want to see more money directed to teenage parenting programs, rehabilitation family services, substance abuse treatment, warnings for fetal alcohol syndrome, and other educational campaigns, and make it a last resort.
Care for relatives – placing children with family members, such as grandmothers – is another model Indigenous communities want to explore.
The specifics of how Otava will go to facilitate such a court transfer were not explained on Friday. The legislation will be introduced to the lower house in early 2019, Philp said. Indigenous leaders have expressed hope that the law will be passed before the federal election next fall.