Feds to introduce co-developed legislation on Indigenous child services in 2019

Indigenous children are more than 50 per cent of the children in foster care in private homes in Canada

The Liberal government says it will introduce federal legislation on Indigenous child and family services in the new year, written in co-operation with Indigenous groups.

Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott says Canada has taken Indigenous kids from their families for more than a century through residential schools and child-welfare agencies.

Philpott says this proposed legislation will end that. She says taking kids away because their families live in poverty or because they have unresolved health issues will not be allowed.

READ MORE: 53 B.C. daycares move to $10-a-day pilot

READ MORE: Early learning programs for Indigenous kids get $30M boost

Philpott made the announcement in the House of Commons foyer today alongside Assembly of First Nationals National Chief Perry Bellegarde, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami President Natan Obed, and Métis National Council President Clément Chartier.

Indigenous children are more than 50 per cent of the children in foster care in private homes in Canada, according to government figures, and they face greater risks of having health problems and being incarcerated.

Bellegarde says legislation co-developed with First Nations is an important step toward fixing the system, and Obed called it an “unprecedented initiative” that will ensure the survival, dignity and well-being of families, communities and nation for generations to come.

The Canadian Press

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