Indigenous-Federal-Provincial-Territorial meeting held in Ottawa to discuss and advance priorities

News release

February 6, 2023 — Ottawa, Unceded Traditional Algonquin Territory, Ontario — Indigenous Services Canada 

Today, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, federal Minister of Indigenous Services, convened a meeting in Ottawa with the Honourable Marc Miller, federal Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, the Honourable Karina Gould, federal Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, many provincial and territorial Ministers of Indigenous Affairs, and leaders and representatives from the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK), and the Métis National Council (MNC). A number of provincial and territorial Ministers responsible for various portfolios, including child and family services and the environment, also joined the meeting. 

Participants attended both in person and virtually to advance priorities and areas of shared interest between the federal, provincial and territorial governments, and AFN, ITK and MNC. Conversations recognized that there are existing bilateral relationships that provinces and territories have with regional Indigenous partners, as well as existing trilateral engagements in many regions. 

This meeting focused on two critical areas: child and family services, as well as access to clean drinking water, including proposed First Nations drinking water and wastewater legislation. 

As part of child and family services discussions, all federal Ministers shared remarks, and Minister Hajdu provided an update on the efforts of the Government of Canada and Indigenous partners to address the number of Indigenous children in care. She provided an update on the implementation of federal child and family services legislation, the Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families. AFN, ITK and MNC, then shared their vision and priorities for child and family services, and also shared successes and challenges. The Honourable Rochelle Squires, Manitoba’s Minister of Families, the Honorable Mitzi Dean, British Columbia’s Minister of Children and Family Development, and the Honourable Tracy-Anne McPhee, Yukon Minister of Health and Social Services and Minister of Justice, spoke to provincial and territorial approaches to child and family services. There was also a discussion on Indigenous priorities for program transformation with jurisdictional updates from provinces and territories.1  

Minister Hajdu also provided an update on the Government of Canada’s efforts to support better access to clean drinking water, with ITK President Natan Obed and representatives from provinces and territories also sharing remarks on this item. The meeting closed with a discussion on proposed federal drinking water and wastewater legislation. Regional Chief Glen Hare of the AFN provided remarks on this item. 

Discussions today also included a consideration of convening meetings with Indigenous organizations and federal, provincial and territorial governments more regularly to advance the important work of reconciliation. 


1  In the context of the reference before the Supreme Court of Canada, Québec participated in this session as an observer.

Quick facts

  • Child and Family Services for most Indigenous children in care are currently provided under the legislation of the province or territory where the children and families reside. 

  • On January 1, 2020, An Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families came into force. The Act provides a pathway for Indigenous communities to exercise jurisdiction over child and family services and sets out principles applicable, on a national level, to the provision of child and family services in relation to Indigenous children.

  • On December 22, 2021, federal courts approved the settlement agreement reached through a successful negotiation process to resolve national class action litigation related to safe drinking water in First Nations communities.

  • The terms of the settlement agreement address important concerns identified by First Nations represented in the class action lawsuits. The agreement includes the following:

    • $1.5 billion in compensation for individuals deprived of clean drinking water;
    •  the creation of a $400 million First Nation Economic and Cultural Restoration Fund;
    • a renewed commitment to Canada’s Action Plan for the lifting of all long-term drinking water advisories;
    • the creation of a First Nations Advisory Committee on Safe Drinking Water;
    • support for First Nations to develop their own safe drinking water by-laws and initiatives;
    • a commitment of at least $6 billion to support reliable access to safe drinking water on reserve;
    •  planned modernization of Canada’s First Nations drinking water legislation.
  • The Government of Canada repealed the 2013 Safe Drinking Water for First Nations Act on June 23, 2022. The Government of Canada is committed to developing and introducing proposed new First Nations drinking water and wastewater legislation, in partnership with First Nations.

Associated links


For more information, media may contact:

Andrew MacKendrick 
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu 
Minister of Indigenous Services

Media Relations
Indigenous Services Canada

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