Louis Bull Tribe and Canada sign historic agreement to further support the well-being of First Nations children and community
February 1, 2023 — Louis Bull Tribe, Treaty 6 Territory, Alberta — Indigenous Services Canada
Today, a ceremony was held on traditional territory to celebrate the signing of the Louis Bull Tribe – Asikiw Mostos O’Pikinawasiwin Society – Canada Child and Family Services Bilateral Agreement. This will support the implementation of Louis Bull Tribe’s Asikiw Mostos O’Pikinawasiwin law. The agreement was signed by Chief Desmond Bull, Louis Bull Tribe; and Catherine Lappe, Assistant Deputy Minister at Indigenous Services Canada on behalf of Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services.
All children deserve the best possible start to life. This involves growing up with a connection to community and culture and their best interest always being prioritized. Federally, An Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families (the Act) was implemented with this in mind. The Act will benefit the well-being of the Nation’s children and ultimately lead to healthy communities for generations to come.
Louis Bull Tribe’s Asikiw Mostos O’Pikinawasiwin law enables the Nation to administer jurisdiction over their own child and family services. The bilateral agreement signed today with the federal government provides Louis Bull Tribe with $124.8 million over two years to support them as they implement their law and exercise jurisdiction in relation to child and family services. The agreement also establishes jurisdiction transition measures and sets out roles and responsibilities to help make the transition as smooth as possible across Canada and internationally.
Louis Bull Tribe’s Asikiw Mostos O’Pikinawasiwin law shifts focus to prevention and early intervention, and also ensures that Louis Bull children receive culturally appropriate child and family services and grow up immersed in their communities, languages and cultures. Awasisahk are gifts. Louis Bull Tribe exercises its inherent sovereign jurisdiction over Awasisahk well-being involving the Awasisahk regardless of residency. This law is an exercise of our jurisdiction to repatriate the Treaty Awasisahk. In this Declaration, Louis Bull Tribe advances and protects the Treaty rights of its Tribal families: Elders, Citizens, Oskayahk and Awasis and future Awasisak.
Wherever there is a conflict of law―federal, provincial, municipal, or another First Nation―this Asikiw Mostos O’pikinawasiwin Law is paramount. Reducing the number of Indigenous children in care remains a priority for AMO Society with the support from the Government of Canada.
“Our children are sacred. The signing of this agreement with the Government of Canada to support the Asikiw Mostos O’Pikinawasiwin law will strengthen our communities and ensure the best possible care for our children and youth. We always think with seven generations in mind and this law will ensure that those generations will grow up immersed in culture and our Tribe’s ways of being. We have always governed ourselves with the sovereignty given to us by Creator and we will continue to provide a safe, secure, peaceful, healthy, caring and prosperous environment for our Peoples. hiy hiy.”
Chief Desmond Bull
Louis Bull Tribe
“Louis Bull Tribe is leading the way to a better future for their families and children. Today your law, Asikiw Mostos O’Pikinawasiwin, means you are beginning a new path that will result in happier and healthier families and children rooted in their community and culture, language, traditions, and values. Canada's colonial reality has harmed too many people over generations, but today Canada and Louis Bull Tribe have a new path forward together. Congratulations and thank you to everyone who helped make today’s milestone a reality.”
The Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Indigenous Services
Child and Family Services for most Indigenous children are provided under the legalization 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 (the Act) 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.
This agreement provides Louis Bull Tribe with $124.8 million over 2 years to support the implementation of Asikiw Mostos O’Pikinawasiwin law. The law supports Louis Bull Tribe's exercise of jurisdiction over Louis Bull Tribe’s children and families. The agreement provides for mechanisms to address funding from the federal government to ensure the necessary financial resources are in place.
In November 2020, the Prime Minister announced over $542 million in funding to advance First Nations, Inuit, and Métis engagement to co-develop the implementation of the Act, and to support Indigenous communities and groups in building the capacity to establish their own child and family services systems.
This funding supports the $3 billion already invested to improve the Government of Canada’s funding support for First Nations child and family services.
Budget 2022 has proposed to invest $87.3 million over three years, starting in 2022−23, to increase capacity building and funding for coordination agreement discussion tables to support the exercise of First Nations, Inuit and Métis jurisdiction in relation to child and family services.
- Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families
- Reducing the number of Indigenous children in care
- Notices and requests related to An Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families
- More support to advance reform of services for Indigenous children and families
For more information, media may contact:
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Indigenous Services
Indigenous Services Canada
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