On January 4, 2022, Canada announced a $40-billion Agreement-in-Principle to provide compensation to First Nations children and families that have been harmed by its chronically underfunded and discriminatory child welfare system.
“We are encouraged by the recent signing of the Agreement-in-Principle on compensation and long-term reform of First Nations child and family services,” said Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Reg Niganobe. “The Anishinabek Nation has been working tirelessly with Anishinabek communities to advance our own child well-being system – a system that will help our children, youth and families to thrive. This Agreement-in-Principle is another step in the right direction to addressing the perpetual systemic racism and barriers that our Nations continue to face.”
In June of 2021, Canada and the Anishinabek Nation signed their own Agreement-in-Principle on Anishinabek Child, Youth, and Family Well-Being that supports the Anishinabek Nation in creating their own system and delivering the programs and services required to keep Anishinabek children within Anishinabek families and communities.
“Through the Anishinabek Nation Child Well-Being Law, the Anishinabek Nation Child Well-Being System, and the Anishinabek Nation Children and Youth Bill of Rights, we can safeguard and promote the well-being of Anishinaabe children, youth, families, and communities,” states Anishinabek Nation Children’s Commissioner Ogimaa Duke Peltier. “Every child and youth deserves to feel safe and cared for, free from abuse, and connected to their traditions, cultures, values and language.”
To date, 22 Anishinabek First Nations have agreed to move forward with the Anishinabek Nation Child Well-Being Law in their communities. The Anishinabek Nation’s Child Well-Being Negotiations Team is currently negotiating self-government agreements with the provincial and federal governments in the area of child, youth and family well-being.
“I feel privileged to support these 22 First Nations with moving closer to implementing the Anishinabek Nation Child Well-Being Law in their communities and I look forward to other Anishinabek First Nations joining in this journey,” added Ogimaa Peltier.
The Anishinabek Nation is a political advocate for 39 member First Nations across Ontario, representing approximately 65,000 citizens. The Anishinabek Nation is the oldest political organization in Ontario and can trace its roots back to the Confederacy of Three Fires, which existed long before European contact.