After the historic child welfare agreement was signed, Cowesses Chief said: “One day there will be no children being taken care of.”


Warning: This story contains painful details

Since the “Respect for First Nations, Inuit, and Metis Children, Youth and Families Act” came into effect last year, Cowessess First Nation in Saskatchewan was the first Canada to sign an agreement with Ottawa for local control Child welfare services provide federally funded indigenous groups.

But Cowessess First Nations chief Cadmus Delorme is already looking to the future.

On Tuesday, he said at an agreement ceremony held in the reserve: “One day, no children will be taken care of.”

“[I’m] 39 years old and nine years old, I hope this will happen in my lifetime. But we still have a lot of work to do. “

Watch | “We are gaining control,” said Cadmus Delorme, the aboriginal chief of Cowesses:

Chief Cadmus Delorme shared his hopes for Cowessess First Nation’s future, but said that the community needs to “roll up their sleeves” to turn hopes into reality. 0:14

The bill allows indigenous people to exercise power over the local child welfare system under so-called coordination agreements and pave the way for children in care to stay in their home communities.

Cowessess First Nation is the first aboriginal group in Canada to sign such an agreement. The deal will also provide $38 million in funding over the next two years to support the band’s further implementation of its own child welfare system, which actually started operating in April.

“Across the country, we are working with other Aboriginal people to reach similar agreements,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who worked with Delorme and Saskatchewan Governor Scott ·Mo attended the ceremony together.

Watch | Justin Trudeau and Cowessess First Nation sign a local child welfare agreement:

On Tuesday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited Cowessess in southeastern Saskatchewan. 3:21

As of last month, Aboriginal Services Canada has received requests from 38 agencies representing 100 Aboriginal groups and communities who wish to follow in the footsteps of Cowessess First Nation. According to the press release.

Eighteen formal discussion groups focused on signing future agreements are underway.

Trudeau did not mention the goals or timetable for finalizing these agreements.

“Intergenerational trauma is very real”

According to a letter distributed by Delorm on Monday, Koscius has been deprived of decision-making power over the care of children since 1951.

According to a survey, more than 80% of children in Saskatchewan are Aboriginal 2018 Child Advocate Report.

With the passage of the Respect for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Children, Youth and Families Act in 2019, this situation has begun to change. Federal legislation aims to reduce the number of young people receiving care and allow communities to Create your own child welfare system.

Cowessess did this in 2020, when Claim its inherent rights Children and families beyond it.

After noticing the recently discovered 751 unmarked graves associated with the former Marieval Indian boarding schoolTrudeau said his government has been cooperating with Cowessess on child welfare funding agreements for many years.

According to Moe, it is not surprising that Cowessess is the first Aboriginal community in Canada to reach such an agreement.

“This is a progressive community [that] Leading in many other fields,” he said.

The Governor of Saskatchewan, Scott Moe, praised Cowessess for its progressiveness. (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation)

First nation states have opened up Transition hAum Suitable for girls aged 14 and above.

Mia Buckles, Chairman of the Cowessess Youth Committee, joined other speakers to link the legacy of boarding schools to the current status of children in care.

“The intergenerational trauma of the indigenous people is very real,” she said. “I recognize that in my life and the lives of others around me, it plays an important role in why so many of us end up in foster care, imprisonment, addiction, and uneducated.”

Cowessess Youth Committee Chairman Mia Buckles said that the local transition house will help reduce the number of children in care. (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation)

Buckles said that the transition home, the Red Bear Chief Children’s Lodge, will work actively to prevent children from being taken care of in the first place.

Funds are needed to address the root cause: advocates

Cindy Blackstock, executive director of the Canadian Native Children and Family Care Association, praised Tuesday’s agreement.

“The closer the authorities are to the children, the better the results will be because they will be able to see their needs and monitor those needs and respond to them in a culturally appropriate way over time,” she said.

Advocate Cindy Blackstock (Cindy Blackstock) said that Ottawa also needs funding to address the reasons why indigenous children are ultimately taken care of. (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation)

But Blackstock warned that federal funds are also needed to address the underlying socio-economic factors that give Aboriginal children care in the first place.

She said these factors include poverty, housing, drug abuse and mental health issues related to boarding school trauma.

“Unless the federal government also announces that it will provide sufficient funds for this, we will have a child welfare program-a high-quality, culturally appropriate one-sitting on top of the raging fire of inequality that will make the community unattainable. . To achieve what they hope to achieve with these children.”


Anyone affected by the boarding school experience and those affected by the latest report can receive support.

A nationwide Indian boarding school crisis hotline has been established to provide support to former students and those affected. People can call the 24-hour national crisis hotline: 1-866-925-4419 for emotional and crisis referral services.



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