Indigenous Success Stories

First Nations Child and Family Caring Society and the Assembly of First Nations

Sept. 6, 2019 – Canadian Human Rights Tribunal awarded approximately $2B in damages to 54,000 First Nations children apprehended since 2006 by child welfare authorities under the direction of federal government policies. The CHRT has ordered Canada to begin discussions with the AFN and the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, partners in the joint complaint at the CHRT, to establish an independent process for distributing compensation to the children and parents or grandparents covered by this decision.
The CHRT has ordered Canada to provide compensation of up to $40,000 to:
·       all First Nation children who were unnecessarily apprehended on or after January 1, 2006
·       all parents or grandparents of children unnecessarily apprehended on or after January 1, 2006
·       all children denied an essential service (Jordan’s Principle) between December 12, 2007 and November 2, 2017

Anishinabek Nation 

June 5, 2019 – Anishinabek Nation is the political advocate for 40 member communities across Ontario, representing approximately 65,000 people.
Official launch of Koganaawsawin, the central body supporting the Anishinabek Nation Child Well-Being Law. The Law is an exercise of the Anishinabek First Nations’ inherent right and jurisdiction over child and youth well-being and child welfare. Each Anishinabek First Nation has the authority to enact the law for their citizens.
The launch was held as a celebration of the work that the Anishinabek Nation technicians and Child Well-Being Law Working Group members have started in collaboration with the federal and provincial governments, to support the opportunities for success in addressing development priorities for Anishinabek children, youth and families. Launched with support from the Province of Ontario and the Government of Canada,

First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada

FNCFCSC has been instrumental in the long-standing (10+ years) fight against the federal government through the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal to end discrimination against Indigenous children and youth.
FNCFCSC has developed the Spirit Bear Plan to address the significant gap in funding and quality of public services delivered to Indigenous peoples vs the general population in Canada
Spirit Bear Plan
1.      CANADA to immediately comply with all rulings by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ordering it to immediately cease its discriminatory funding of First Nations child and family services. The order further requires Canada to fully and properly implement Jordan’s Principle (
2.      PARLIAMENT to ask the Parliamentary Budget Officer to publicly cost out the shortfalls in all federally funded public services provided to First Nations children, youth and families (education, health, water, child welfare, etc.) and propose solutions to fix it.
3.      GOVERNMENT to consult with First Nations to co-create a holistic Spirit Bear Plan to end all of the inequalities (with dates and confirmed investments) in a short period of time sensitive to children’s best interests, development and distinct community needs.
4.      GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTS providing services to First Nations children and families to undergo a thorough and independent 360° evaluation to identify any ongoing discriminatory ideologies, policies or practices and address them. This evaluation must be publicly available.
5.      ALL PUBLIC SERVANTS including those at a senior level, to receive mandatory training to identify and address government ideology, policies and practices that fetter the implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.

Indigenous Child Welfare Research Group

Indigenous Child Welfare Research Group is part of the Canadian Child Welfare Research Portal. The Portal is a partnership supported by the McGill Centre for Research on Children and Families (CRCF), the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto, the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Calgary, PART (Practice and Research Together) and PolicyWise for Children and Families.
This section contains material related to Aboriginal child welfare. Canada has a decentralized child welfare system that consists of 13 Canadian provincial and territorial child welfare systems. In addition, there exist Métis, First Nations and urban Aboriginal child and family service agencies that are to varying degrees affected by federal policies and funding models.

Aboriginal Legal Services

Giiwedin Anang Council (North Star) Is an Aboriginal Alternative Dispute Resolution (AADR) program for families involved in the child welfare system.
The purpose of the Giiwedin Anang Council is to allow parents, children, extended family, child welfare authorities and others with concerns for a child’s future, to get together and develop a plan that will meet the needs of the child.

Nishnawbe-Aski Legal Services Corporation

Talking Together“, a rural program, serving the 49 Nishnawbe Aski First nations in northern Ontario.
Talking Together is a restorative approach for dealing with child welfare issues. The program is an alternative dispute resolution option created in 2002 to address the child welfare needs of families from the NAN communities.

First Peoples Child & Family Review

Mar. 27, 2019 – 15th anniversary issue which features a reprint of 15 of their most popular contributions. This journal has provided a respected platform to share knowledge generated by Indigenous researchers, graduate students, community members, youth, and non-Indigenous allies and supporters.
Four general themes emerged during the editing process: 
·       the sharing of Indigenous ways of knowing and Indigenous ways of being in the world;
·       advice for conducting respectful research with and for Indigenous peoples and communities; 
·       challenging the status-quo in child welfare, social work, and family services; and 
documenting the effects of colonization and the power and strength of Indigenous peoples and communities.

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