Call to Action # 4

We call upon the federal government to enact Aboriginal child-welfare legislation that establishes national standards for Aboriginal child apprehension and custody cases and includes principles that: 

  • Affirm the right of Aboriginal governments to establish and maintain their own child-welfare agencies. 
  • Require all child-welfare agencies and courts to take the residential school legacy into account in their decision-making. 
  • Establish, as an important priority, a requirement that placements of Aboriginal children into temporary and permanent care be culturally appropriate. 

Why “In Progress”

“Bill C-92 An Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families” received Royal Assent on June 21, 2019

January 6, 2022: Indigenous Services Canada – “January 2022 marks the two-year anniversary of the coming into force of An Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families (the Act). Since coming into force two years ago, 59 Indigenous governing bodies have submitted notices and requests concerning the exercise of jurisdiction in relation to child and family services, representing more than 120 Indigenous groups, communities and people. Of this, 18 coordination agreement discussion tables have been established. To date, the Government of Canada has provided over $56 million to 115 Indigenous groups preparing to undertake coordination agreement discussions.

April 7, 2022 – Budget 2022 invests in implementation of Indigenous child welfare laws:

  • $340.8M over 10 years to support Wabaseemoong Independent Nations’ exercise of jurisdiction
  • $87.3M over 3 years to enable Indigenous communities to continue to work with the federal, provincial and territory governments to support the implementation of Indigenous child welfare laws

Feb. 10,2022: The Court of Appeal of Québec ruled that Bill C-92 “is constitutional, except for ss. 21 and 22(3), which are not”. These sections deal with the right of Aboriginal self-government and the regulation of Child and Family Services. As Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, professor of law at the Peter Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia says,” “The only kind of law that would be allowed under this decision is one that’s clearly subordinate to the provincial law…It’s a bit of a slam dunk for The Indian Act.”

The Quebec government challenged Bill C-92 in the Court of Appeal on Dec. 19, 2019 claiming that the Bill appropriates the “exclusive” jurisdiction of the provinces in matters of social services including over First Nations Child Welfare.

Current Status

In Progress

Call to Action
last updated

February 09, 2024

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Background Content

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Canadian Bar Association

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Cdn. Council of Child and Youth Advocates

The Canadian Council of Child and Youth Advocates (CCCYA) is an association of children’s advocates from across Canada who have mandates to advance the rights of children and youth and to promote their voice.

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Indigenous Responses to Bill C-92

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Indigenous Child Welfare Agencies

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