Child & Family Services
In June 2011, the Assembly of Treaty Chiefs passed Resolution #08-06-2011/044 M First Nations Child and Family Services. The resolution mandated the Grand Chiefs of Treaty No. 6, Treaty No. 7 & Treaty No. 8, the Minister of Alberta Children and Youth Services, and the Minister of Alberta Aboriginal Relations to send a joint Letter of Invitation to the Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada to designate Senior Representatives to participate in a collaborative, Trilateral Process to address First Nations Children Youth and Family Services (CFS) in Alberta. The Government of Alberta would be secured in the process through a Bilateral Agreement resulting in process certainty. Through the Trilateral Agreement, the Chiefs will have the ability to influence changes in legislation and policy as a means to improve the lives of children who are being negatively affected by a faulty Child Welfare System.
On September 16, 2014 The Assembly of Treaty Chiefs (Alberta) passed Resolution #2014-09-16/R02.
In summary the resolution states:
- Accepts the Service Engagement Progress Report.
- Chiefs will continue to engage with Officials from the Government of Canada and Government of Alberta to move forward on jurisdiction of First Nation Children and Youth.
- Call for the Government of Canada and Government of Alberta to honour and respect Treaty and Inherent Rights, and provide necessary resourcing based upon submissions of budgets and work plans.
- Direct Child & Family Services Trilateral Working Group to continue supporting the Chiefs and Officials in carrying out the Child & Family Services Engagement Process Mandate.
Child & Family Services Action Plan was revised to ensure that the end product is useful and accurate to the needs of the First Nations in Alberta.
- Culture is a key component to the success of the document. It is being infused throughout as a foundation of the overall outcomes.
- Health Canada has a committed member at the table and offers input from a health perspective. This was an identified gap.
- The draft document is being revised to be a 3 part package:
- Framework: Provides cultural context and strategic direction
- Action Plan: Provides a table with action items to address the 4 Key Themes: - Legislation & Regulation
- Communication, Collaboration, & Information Sharing
- Capacity Resourcing
- Program & Service Delivery
- Priority Chart: Identifies timeframes year by year and deliverables to be completed before next priority chart.
The Communication Plan was drafted and will be summarized in a table format similar to the Education Memorandum Of Understanding template. This will provide a more clear and specific approach to communication.
First Nations, Canada, and Alberta Governments are committed to develop a process that requires significant, culturally based, equitable and meaningful involvement of First Nations for success. Partners in this process include the Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations, Treaty 7 Management Corporation, Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta, the Government of Canada and the Government of Alberta. The above partners have agreed and committed to the Child and Family Services (CFS) Engagement Process.
All partners acknowledge the Treaty relationship and agree to work collaboratively.
1. Elected Officials – Grand Chiefs of Treaty No. 6, Treaty No. 7 and Treaty No.8, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC), Minister of Alberta Human Services, and Minister of Alberta Aboriginal Relations.
2. Senior Officials Steering Committee (SOSC) – the Executive Director of the Confederacy of Treaty Six, Chief Executive Officer of Treaty 7 Management Corporation, Chief Operating Officer of Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta, Regional Director General of AANDC, Regional Executive Officer of Health Canada, Assistant Deputy Ministers from Alberta Human Services and Alberta Aboriginal Relations.
3. Tri-Lateral Working Group (TWG) – Child and Family Service Coordinators and Intergovernmental officials from the Confederacy of Treaty Six, Treaty 7 Management Corporation, Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta, officials from AANDC regional office, official from Health Canada, and officials from Alberta Human Services and Alberta Aboriginal Relations.
It is important to note that Elders from Treaty No. 6, Treaty No. 7 and Treaty No. 8 bring a wealth of experience and wisdom in all aspects of First Nations child and family services, particularly on the impacts of residential schools, in addition to providing a First Nations’ perspective on the overrepresentation of First Nation children in care. Elders have provided ongoing guidance throughout the Child and Family Engagement Process.