First Nation leaders are interested in federal legislation that gives them jurisdiction over child welfare. However, Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald says Ottawa's proposal doesn't include binding funding arrangements.

Archibald notes there are no provisions to make sure children in need will get the supports they need. Returning children to their communities -- with appropriate supports -- has been a key demand from chiefs.

“Our focus has to be on what’s best for First Nations and our children and youth and we must ensure that our children and youth are connected to their languages and cultures. The way forward is with community driven solutions and funding within the legislation to do so,” said the regional chief. “The bill introduced today in Parliament improves on the draft we last saw. It is much closer to respecting our jurisdiction over children and families, and provides a route to exercise that jurisdiction yet still create space for coordination with our provincial and federal partners.”

The Minister of Indigenous Services, Seamus O’Regan, unveiled the proposed Bill C-92 in the House of Commons last week. It was one of the first Calls to Action from the final report by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

For more information:

Child repatriation urgent, minister

Investing in Indigenous communities