Engagement on potential legislation co-developed with Indigenous communities on child and family services

Current status: Open

Formal engagements took place in the summer and fall of 2018. Feedback continues to be collected by ISC.

Why

The Government of Canada has been engaging with Indigenous partners across the country to co-develop options for potential federal legislation on Indigenous child and family services. The over-representation of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nation children in care is a humanitarian crisis. New legislation could support Indigenous families to raise their children within their homelands and nations and increase efforts to address the root causes of child apprehension, which include poverty, poor housing conditions, inter-generational trauma and culturally-biased child welfare practices.

Find out more about the timeline for reforming child and family services.

About the engagement

The Government of Canada has worked closely with Indigenous partners to:

  • co- develop engagement tools
  • co-develop options for potential federal legislation
  • discuss the purpose, timing and scope of any potential legislation
  • ensure that the distinct cultures, needs and aspirations of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nation peoples are understood and reflected in any potential legislation

The Government of Canada has also worked with provincial and territorial counterparts to:

  • understand how federal legislation would complement provincial and territorial regimes
  • help inform the content of potential legislation
  • respect existing jurisdictional responsibilities
  • avoid any unintended consequences

How child and family services work right now

Currently, provinces and territories set legislation and standards for First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nation child protection. Through the First Nations Child and Family Services program, Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) funds agencies established, managed and controlled by First Nations and delegated by provincial authorities to provide prevention and protection services. ISC also funds provinces to deliver services where delegated agencies do not exist.

In the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, ISC provides funding through annual transfer payments to the territorial governments but does not deliver or fund child and family services or welfare directly.

The Government of Canada currently has no defined role in child and family services for Inuit and the Métis Nation.

How is legislation developed?

Developing and enacting legislation is a multi-step process. Engagements were held across the country in order to determine options for potential federal legislation. As a result of intensive engagements throughout 2018, the Government of Canada and First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nation leaders announced, in November 2018, they will move forward with federal legislation that would benefit children and families of First Nations, Inuit and the Métis Nation.

To learn more about how legislation is drafted and how a bill becomes law, consult The Legislative Process: From Government Policy to Proclamation.

About co-development

Co-development encourages information sharing and creativity in order to achieve the best possible outcome. Co-development is an evidence-based collaboration process drawing from different sources of knowledge, expertise and perspectives, including:

  • values and cultural practices
  • lived experience
  • academic research

It is also based on the sharing of information with a view to unlock creativity from partners and facilitate the best possible outcome.

Who

The Government of Canada has been engaging with:

What

The engagement included:

How to participate

Input for the engagement sessions was collected throughout the summer and fall of 2018.

Feedback on what legislation could do or visions for the future of the program continue to be welcome.

You can submit your feedback by email at: sac.sefreforme-cfsreform.isc@canada.ca

Or by regular mail to:
Child and Family Services Reform
10 rue Wellington 22nd Floor
Gatineau QC K1A 0H4

When and where

Over 65 engagement sessions were held across Canada involving nearly 2000 participants.

Section will be updated to include additional engagement sessions.

Co-developing options for federal legislation on child and family services: Engagements to date and number of participants
Participating region Date Participating groups
British Columbia 2018/07/26 First Nations Leadership Council
British Columbia 2018/07/26 Delegated Aboriginal Agencies' Directors Forum
British Columbia 2018/08/21 Huu-ay-aht Nation
British Columbia 2018/08/27 Indigenous communities, including those not represented by the Delegated Aboriginal Agencies
British Columbia 2018/09/05 and 2018/09/06 Indigenous communities, including those not represented by the Delegated Aboriginal Agencies
British Columbia 2018/09/26 Tsilhqot'in Nation Chiefs, board and staff
British Columbia 2018/09/26 and 2018/09/27 Engagement session with British Columbia First Nations
British Columbia 2018/10/15 Youth and persons with lived experience engagement session
British Columbia 2018/10/16 Youth and persons with lived experience engagement session
British Columbia 2018/10/17 Youth and persons with lived experience engagement session
British Columbia 2018/10/17 Minister's engagement with Secwe̓pemc Nation Tribal Council
British Columbia 2018|2018/10/22 Youth and persons with lived experience engagement session
Alberta 2018/07/17 Treaty 6 Gathering, Cold Lake
Alberta 2018/08/23 Treaty 7 First Nations and the Stoney Nakota: Tsuut'ina Tribal Council
Alberta 2018/08/27 Treaty 8 Elder Advisory Council
Alberta 2018/08/28 and 2018/08/29 Treaty 8 Special Assembly of Chiefs
Alberta 2018/08/30 Treaty 7 First Nations and the Stoney Nakota: Tsuut'ina Tribal Council
Alberta 2018/09/05 Non-delegated First Nation Agencies and their respective chiefs
Alberta 2018/09/05 All Treaty 6 chiefs
Alberta 2018/09/05 Blackfoot Confederacy Chiefs
Alberta 2018/09/10 Treaty 7: Stoney-Nakoda Tsuut'ina
Alberta 2018/09/10 Treaty 7: Blackfoot Confederacy
Alberta 2018/09/10 Treaty 8
Alberta 2018/09/10 Non-Delegated First Nation Agencies
Alberta 2018/09/10 Treaty 6
Saskatchewan 2018/09/06 First Nations child and family services agencies executive directors
Saskatchewan 2018/09/11 Saskatoon Tribal Council
Saskatchewan 2018/09/11 Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations
Saskatchewan 2018/09/12 Saskatchewan First Nations Family and Community Institute with the executive directors and board chairs of the First Nation child and family services agencies
Saskatchewan 2018/09/25 Saskatchewan First Nations Family and Community Institute with the executive directors and board chairs of the First Nation child and family services agencies
Saskatchewan 2018/10/04 Youth and persons with lived experience engagement session
Manitoba 2018/06/29
  • Manitoba Métis Federation and President David Chartrand
  • Métis Child and Family Services Authority
Manitoba 2018/08/23 Southeast Child and Family Services meeting
Manitoba 2018/09/06
  • Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs
  • First Nations Advocate Office
  • Elders
  • youth and families
  • Sioux Valley Dakota Nation
Manitoba 2018/09/06 Southern Chiefs Organization and guests
Manitoba 2018/09/18 First Nations Child and Family Services Good Governance Conference hosted by the Southern First Nations Network of Care
Manitoba 2018/09/26 Southern Chiefs Organization, Chief's Summit
Manitoba 2018/09/26
  • First Nations of Northern Manitoba Child and Family Services Authority
  • First Nations Child and Family Services Agency executive directors
Ontario 2018/07/09 Anishnabek Nation
Ontario 2018/07/10 Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve (attended by Manitoulin Island communities and other members of Anishinabek Nation)
Ontario 2018/08/02 Association of Native Child and Family Services Agencies of Ontario (attended by the executive directors and staff of Ontario's predesignated and designated Indigenous Child and Family Services Agencies)
Ontario 2018/08/20 Primarily attended by:
  • Union of Ontario Indians
  • Anishinabek Nation First Nations
Ontario 2018/08/22 Primarily attended by members of independent First Nations
Ontario 2018/08/24 Primarily attended by Grand Council Treaty No. 3 First Nations
Ontario 2018/09/17 Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians in Southwold
Ontario 2018/09/28 First Nations associated with North Shore Tribal Council and members of Nogdawindamin Family and Community Services
Quebec 2018/08/29 James Bay Cree
Quebec 2018/08/29
  • The Naskapi
  • Makivik Corporation
  • Chief Ghislain Picard and Chiefs of Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador
Quebec 2018/08/22 Atikamekw
Quebec 2018/09/13 Directors of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Health and Social Services Commission in Montreal
New Brunswick 2018/08/22 Chiefs of New Brunswick, band managers and agencies
New Brunswick 2018/08/29 Chiefs of New Brunswick, band managers and agencies
Newfoundland & Labrador 2018/10/11 The Innu Nation
Newfoundland & Labrador 2018/10/17 Miawpukek First Nation
Nova Scotia 2018/10/11 Kwilmu'kw Maw-klusuaqn
Prince Edward Island 2018/08/28 Mi'kmaq of Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island 2018/10/10 and 2018/10/11
  • First Nation leadership
  • youth
  • community leaders
  • Elders
  • child and family services experts
  • provincial representatives
  • child advocates from the four Atlantic provinces
Northwest Territories 2018/06/25 Inuvialuit Regional Corporation
Northwest Territories 2018/06/25 Gwich'in Tribal Council
Northwest Territories 2018/10/22 and 2018/10/23 Engagement session with the Gwich'in Tribal Council
Yukon 2018/09/20 Yukon First Nations Health and Social Development Commission Directors' meeting
National 2018/08/22 and 2018/08/23 Métis National Council's child and family services reform working group
National (held in Ottawa) 2018/08/18 and 2018/08/19 Native Women's Association of Canada Board of Directors
National (held by phone) 2018/09/18 Indigenous Women's Circle at Status of Women
National (held in Ottawa) 2018/09/17 and 2018/09/18 Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami

Contact us

Child and Family Services Branch
Indigenous Services Canada
10 rue Wellington 22nd floor
Gatineau QC K1A 0H4
Email: sac.sefreforme-cfsreform.isc@canada.ca

Related links

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