Government of Canada launches a call for proposals to support work of Indigenous communities towards exercising jurisdiction in relation to child and family services
March 23, 2021 — Ottawa, Traditional Unceded Algonquin Territory, Ontario — Indigenous Services Canada
The Government of Canada is continuing the important work in full partnership with Indigenous Peoples to reform child and family services so that every Indigenous child has the opportunity to grow up in their communities, immersed in their cultures, and surrounded by loved ones.
The Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families, celebrated its first anniversary on January 1, 2021. The Act affirms the inherent right of self-government, including jurisdiction in relation to child and family services, and aims to reduce the number of Indigenous children in care. The Act also supports the reform of First Nations, Inuit and Métis child and family services so that Indigenous communities are in the best position to support their children and families.
Today, the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Indigenous Services Canada, announced the launch of a call for proposals to support Indigenous Peoples, communities, and groups as they begin work to develop their own legislation and explore Indigenous-led models for child and family services.
More specifically, this funding is intended to provide support to Indigenous Peoples, communities and groups wishing to:
- explore models and options to exercise jurisdiction;
- develop Indigenous child and family service legislation, systems, and programs prior to entering into tripartite coordination agreement discussions with federal and provincial or territorial governments.
As communities develop their laws, specific funding will also be made available for their participation in Tripartite coordination agreement discussions to further advance these models. These discussions will be essential for reaching a successful agreement between Indigenous communities, the Government of Canada, provinces, and territories to provide services to children and their families. They will also help ensure a smooth transition from the existing system to the one envisioned by Indigenous communities, free from racism and discriminatory practices.
Through this call for proposals, activities, such as community engagements, planning, research, IT systems design or communications activities , and more, can be funded. Eligible recipients are section 35 rights-holders, which include First Nations, Inuit and Métis nation groups; Indigenous governing bodies, as defined under the Act, as well as National Indigenous Organizations.
Indigenous Services Canada recognizes that not all Indigenous Peoples, communities or groups are at the same state of readiness nor have the same resources to exercise jurisdiction under the Act. To this end, this funding is available to support eligible Indigenous groups, communities or peoples as they work within and across their communities to build strong foundations in preparation for their participation in coordination agreement discussions.
"Every child matters and deserves the opportunity to thrive. The best interests of Indigenous children remain our priority; ensuring they stay connected to their communities, cultures, and languages. This funding is key to better supporting Indigenous communities in preparing to exercise jurisdiction in relation to their child and family services, as they are best placed to choose models that reflect their values and traditions."
The Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Indigenous Services
Through the July 2020 Economic and Fiscal Snapshot, the Government of Canada committed over $542 million over five years, starting in 2020-21, to support the implementation of the Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families in full partnership with Indigenous partners. Of this investment, a total of $425 million will be allocated over 5 years in capacity-building funding.
In addition, $15.5M was allocated in two waves of funding to support Indigenous groups that had identified an immediate need to begin to develop their own legislation and explore Indigenous-led child and family service delivery models.
The first wave of funding included 26 capacity-building proposals received prior to September 1, 2020 and resulted in an investment of $12M; and a second wave of funding will include an investment of $3.5M for 11 proposals received between September 1st and January 29, 2021.
The Government of Canada also invested over $3 billion in additional funding over six years, until 2025, to continue delivering and reforming the First Nations Child and Family Services Program. This funding reflects the Government of Canada's promise to support child and family services with the predictable, flexible, long-term funding that they need and deserve.
For more information, media may contact:
Office of the Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Indigenous Services
Indigenous Services Canada
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