Minister Philpott joins Secwépemc Nation in signing ceremony on Child and Family Services reform

News release

October 17, 2018 - Kamloops, BC - Indigenous Services Canada

Improving the well-being of Indigenous children and families is a shared priority for the Government of Canada and partners.

Today, the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Indigenous Services, joined the Secwépemc Nation in a signing ceremony for a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to help affirm and implement Secwépemc jurisdiction over child and family services. The signing of the MOU was initiated on Monday, July 23, 2018, with the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, along with the Honourable Katrine Conroy, British Columbia Minister of Children and Family Development, and several Secwépemc Chiefs.

This tripartite MOU between Canada, the province of British Columbia and the Secwépemc Nation provides a framework that charts the path forward in recognizing and implementing Secwépemc jurisdiction over their child and family services. Its signing directly responds to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Action #4, which calls upon the Government of Canada to affirm the right of Aboriginal governments to maintain their own child and family services agencies. The MOU can also serve as a model for jurisdiction in other First Nations in Canada.


"We thank Minister Philpott for joining us today to sign this MOU. Our laws embedded in our oral history clearly show that we have been dealing with child neglect for thousands of years. Canada attacked our governance system – our families. We need to rebuild our families and our governance systems for the land, water and all our relatives. Reconciliation with Canada means recognition of our laws."

Kukpi7 Wayne Christian
Tribal Chief
Shuswap Nation Tribal Council

"Thank you to the Secwépemc Nation for inviting me to your territory to sign this important Memorandum of Understanding. We must continue this important work to recognize First Nations jurisdiction in child and family services and to ensure that children and families are kept together, surrounded by their culture, language and community."

The Honourable Jane Philpott, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Indigenous Services

"We're challenging the systemic inertia that for too many years meant government intervention in Indigenous child welfare was favoured over community-based governance. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to Action puts child welfare first on its list of action, and with this MOU, so are we."

The Honourable Scott Fraser
Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation
Province of British Columbia

"The Province was pleased to sign this MOU in July and to be working with our partners toward a common goal of recognizing and implementing Secwépemc jurisdiction. l look forward to moving ahead with this framework and putting reconciliation into action."

The Honourable Katrine Conroy
Minister of Children and Family Development
Province of British Columbia

Quick facts

  • The MOU is a tripartite partnership between the Secwépemc Nation, the Province of BC, and Canada.

  • The MOU was signed by the other signatories on Monday, July 23, on the margins of the Assembly of First Nations' Annual General Assembly.

  • Budget 2018 funding of $1.4 billion in additional funding over six years continues the transformation of First Nations child and family services to focus on prevention, family preservation and wellbeing, and community wellness.

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Associated links


Rachel Rappaport
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Jane Philpott
Minister of Indigenous Services

Media Relations
Indigenous Services Canada

Kukpi7 Wayne Christian
Tribal Chief
Shuswap Nation Tribal Council

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