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Peguis First Nation, Manitoba and Ottawa sign CFS co-ordination agreement

By: Q Country/Star FM News
Posted: January 31, 2023 09:08

Peguis becomes the first Manitoba Indigenous group to take control of child welfare

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In a media release, "Peguis First Nation, Peguis Child & Family Services (the “Agency”), Canada and Manitoba have joined together to sign a coordination agreement pursuant to An Act respecting First Nations, Inuit, and Metis children, youth and families, which will support the implementation of Peguis First Nations child and family 
services legislation titled Honouring our Children, Families and Nation Act (the "Peguis Act") which has the force of law as federal law. 

The Peguis Act sets out standards for global service delivery that the First Nation aims to provide for Members whomever may request services. The legislation is national in scope, which allows Members to receive child and family services from the Agency wherever they may reside in Canada. The legislation has a focus on prevention so that families can receive supports to remain together. The impacts of colonization, inter-generational traumas and government policies have done significant damage to First Nation societies. This legislation is not a cure-all for these impacts, but provides resources, in a culturally appropriate way for Peguis families and children to deal with these impacts so that their healing can begin.

Taking into account the principle of seven generations, the legislation will have lasting impacts into the future for Peguis Members. At the same time, the inherent right and self-determination of Peguis First Nation moves forward as it reasserts jurisdiction for child and family services. In addition, the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, as well as being informed from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action, the Calls for Justice from the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, have provided support in order to deal with the long-term negative impacts noted above. 

Peguis, the Agency, Canada and Manitoba acknowledge the shift towards recognition and acknowledgement of the inherent jurisdiction of Peguis and the movement towards truth and reconciliation. Our collective history has informed us so that we know what needs to be accomplished in the future for our families. The Honouring our Children, Families and Nation Act provides a framework to help build that brighter, healthier future for Peguis First Nation families.

Peguis First Nation is proud to confirm the coordination agreement with Peguis Child and Family Services, Canada and Manitoba. The Honouring our Children, Families and Nation Act coordination agreement has allowed all parties to find the common ground for required service delivery for our Members. Our Nation is exercising its inherent rights and ensuring that our Indigenous Legal Traditions and teachings have formed the basis for our law. Our law requires a stronger focus on keeping families together and ensuring our Nation’s values and beliefs guide how we support our families and children. On behalf of our Nation we thank the Agency, Canada and Manitoba for their collaboration and commitment to this process. – Chief Glenn Hudson 

Today we are surrounded by our wonderful Elders as well as being witnessed by our Ancestors as we conclude this part of our journey towards the full operationalization of the Honouring our Children, Families and Nation Act. Our vision of success is one where each and everyone from our Nation is strong, healthy, empowered, engaged and enjoying an enhanced quality of life. The coordination agreement provides us the ability to fully implement our law ensuring that it moves us forward in the direction of this vision. With a focus on prevention and reunification, we will be the helpers to our families that require assistance on their healing journeys. The coordination agreement is the final necessary step where we can truly provide services with the goal of this vision in mind. I acknowledge and say Gitchi Miigwetch to Creator, Spirit, our Grandmothers and Grandfathers as well as our Spirit Helpers as we share this beautiful human experience on Mother Earth. – Executive Director, Peguis CFS Clemene Hornbrook

Congratulations to Peguis First Nation for your unwavering commitment to the wellbeing of your children and families. Canada’s colonial practices caused intergenerational harm to so many, but for Peguis this stops now. Nothing can replace family and community. Canada and Manitoba join Peguis today in signing this historic child and family services coordination agreement that rightly puts them in the driver’s seat, and makes sure they have the tools and resources they need. Thank you everyone involved who worked so hard to arrive at this day. – The Honourable Minister Patty Hajdu, Indigenous Services Canada 

Manitoba is proud to be signing this trilateral coordination agreement to support the delivery of child and family services to members of Peguis First Nation. As Premier of Manitoba, it is my honour to advance the Manitoba government’s commitments to truth and reconciliation. Nothing could be more important to this than acknowledging the inherent right of Peguis First Nation to care for their children. Today’s ceremony is a testament of what can be accomplished when our respective governments come together to realize and advance shared goals for the benefit of our communities and province. - The Honourable Premier Heather Stefanson"

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