First Nations in Treaty 2 Territory Government moving forward on developing own laws ‘Keeping Our Children Home’

April 26, 2019

Treaty 2 Territory – First Nations never gave up the Inherent Right and Responsibility for the care of their children. Nor did the First Nations hand over jurisdiction to any Settler Government to govern the matters of children and family protection and wellness; if anything, the First Nations attempted to work with the settler governments to ensure that the programs being delivered under their laws were more sensitive to the ways of the First Peoples. First Nations jurisdiction has not been recognized by either Manitoba or Canada.

Child and Family Services (CFS) is considered by the First Nations as a modern-day system of the Indian Residential School and the Sixties Scoop. First Nations have referred to it as the next wave of child abduction. The widespread of child custody (children in care) is damaging and undeniably evident in First Nations families. The CFS process of removing children from their homes, communities and nation is dehumanizing and dismantling the families in dramatic ways.

“The unity of family and community is being drastically impacted by the current CFS legislation and its regulations; this must be addressed immediately we must do our own laws”, said Grand Chief Eugene Eastman.

The First Nations in Treaty 2 Territory through its newly formed collective community-based treaty-based government is in the midst of reclamation of our Children and Families mandate.

The First Nations in Treaty 2 Territory (FNiT2T) Government is moving toward establishing a territorial law to protect the children and families and provide services to ensure family unity. The FNiT2T established the Children, Family, Extended Family, Community, Nation Well-being (CFEFCNW) Secretariat and office to begin addressing the natural family laws that are required to reclaim jurisdiction for the current mandate and the services that flow as a result,” said Chief Cornell McLean, Portfolio for the Office of the CFEFCNW Secretariat.

The CFEFCNW Secretariat works with the Ikwewak Council as part of the Governing Circle of the FNiT2T Government to receive guidance for the work moving forward. Over the last six (6) months the CFEFCNW has held meetings with the Ikwewak Council, hosted an Assembly in March 2019 that focused specifically on the issues surrounding Child Welfare as it currently exists.  The CFEFCNW has also been engaged in a research project that has a major component of community driven feedback on how a new CFS system should evolve. A kinship model has been a common recommendation and focusing on supporting the parents and keeping kids in the community when the family is in crisis.

The perspective of the FNiT2T Government has been that “no one speaks for the FNiT2T without the consent of the FNiT2T”; this is true for our children. The CFEFCNW is open to hearing from all First Nations members from the Treaty 2 Territory and anyone involved in the CFS system.  Get involved if your family has been impacted by the current Child and Family Services system; please contact us at the FNiT2T Government, you will be directed to the right people who are responsible for this file and your voice will be heard. 

Please go to www.treaty2.com for further information on our CFEFCNW Act and Secretariat.http://treaty2.com/index.php/children-families-extended-families-communities-and-nation-well-being/

Last modified: April 26, 2019

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