Government of Canada provides funding for Anishinabek Nation Circle Process to Support Child and Youth Well-Being

News release

November 5, 2020 — Ottawa, Ontario — Indigenous Services Canada

The Government of Canada is continuing its important work in full partnership with Indigenous Peoples to reform child and family services so that every Indigenous child has the ability to grow up in their community, immersed in their culture and surrounded by loved ones.

Far too many families and children have been affected and suffer due to the broken child and family services system. We are addressing systemic issues within child and family services and are committed to working with Indigenous partners to ensure children and families can start their healing processes. The Government of Canada is working hard to ensure that Indigenous Children and Families never have to be subject to a broken system again.

Today, the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Indigenous Services, announced $992, 895 to support the implementation of the Anishinabek Nation's Circle Process to Support Child and Youth Well-being.

The Circle Process is a culturally-founded alternative dispute resolution mechanism to assist Anishinabek families with conflict resolution. The Circle Process compliments the implementation of Anishinabek Nation's Child Well-Being Law. This process addresses longstanding concerns with the current approach, which has been unwelcoming and culturally inappropriate. It serves as a system to help find solutions for families who have conflict at home to find other ways to heal and resolve conflicts rather than to simply remove the child from the home and community.

The Circle Process recognizes and validates the importance of restoring balance, respect, and harmony to the family. The Circle Process will provide a holistic approach to supporting the needs of families in the Anishinabek Nation.

ISC will continue advancing important work with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis to support the development of child and family services models that reflect Indigenous communities' values and traditions so that we realize our shared goals of prioritizing the best interest of child, increasing the number of communities exercising jurisdiction over child and family services, and decreasing the number of children in care.


"Indigenous peoples have an inherent right to determine for themselves which policies and programs will best protect vulnerable children in their communities. This Indigenous-led approach will improve the health and well-being of Anishinabek Nation children and youth. We fully supports the distinctions-based approach taken by the Anishinabek Nation with regards to their exercise of jurisdiction over child and family services."

Marc Miller
Minister of Indigenous Services

"Every child and youth deserves to be safe and cared for. This support will help us to ensure that our children are cared for in a culturally-appropriate way."

Grand Council Chief Glen Hare
Anishinabek Nation

"Very excited to see that the federal government is now willing to partner on this approach to a more inclusive process that is less adversarial than the current welfare system."

Ogimaa Duke Peltier
Anishinabek Nation Children's Commissioner

Quick facts

  • The Anishinabek Nation is a progressive Indigenous Representative Organization representing 39 communities and over one third of Ontario's First Nations population.

  • In 2018, Anishinabek Nation began work on the "Anishinabek Nation Child Well-Being Law", which describes Anishinabek Nation's inherent jurisdiction over child and youth well-being and how that will be exercised.

  • To date, 22 of the Anishinabek Nation's 39 member First Nations have passed Band Council Resolutions indicating that they intend to adopt the law.


For more information, media may contact:

Adrienne Vaupshas
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Indigenous Services

Media Relations
Indigenous Services Canada

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