On November 30, Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott announced that the Government of Canada will introduce co-developed federal legislation on Indigenous child and family services in early 2019.
The development of federal legislation is a direct response to actions called for in Truth and Reconciliation report and the agreements that came out of the Emergency Meeting on child welfare in Ottawa this past January. It is meant to address the over-representation of Indigenous children in care across Canada, and to support Indigenous families to raise their children within their homelands and nations as well as increase efforts to prevent child apprehension where possible and safe to do so.
Kw’umut Lelum supports this approach that is both inclusive of all Indigenous peoples while respecting the distinct needs, cultures and governments of individual communities.
Says Bill Yoachim:
"The Chiefs and leaders who work together in the Kwumut Lelum Child and Family Service agency have been ready for this change. We have always worked within our own systems to support our children, youth and families. We know we can end the removal of children to families outside our Nations and bring our distinct values, culture, language and approaches to supporting families. We welcome the work to support the reunification and reconnection of children with their families. The children and youth expect us to fix the problems that have led to them being removed from their families. They want greater resources to prevent family breakdown and assist them when problems arise to stay in their families and communities. Our children are sacred and we want to do everything to allow them to grow and develop and become the people they wish to be. New federal legislation can help us along this journey. We hope British Columbia and other provinces and territories join our people and the Federal government in making these needed reforms."