The Social Development department supports the political goals and aspirations of member First Nations. This is accomplished through the coordination and development of strategies that address social policy and legislative issues from the Anishinabek Nation position to the federal and provincial governments and non-government organizations.
Goal: To coordinate social policy development, political advocacy and improved coordination and support amongst member First Nations across the Anishinabek Territory.
We provide support and representation to the 40 member First Nations in the following areas:
- First Nation Child and Family Services
- Anishinabek Nation Child Welfare Law Development
- Social Assistance
- First Nation Daycare/Childcare
- Federal Family Violence
Anishinabek Nation Child Well-Being Law
The Anishinabek Nation (AN) Child Well-Being Working Group (CWBWG) has been working on addressing the changesrequired for the AN Child Well-Being Law over the past year. The Anishinabek Nation Child Well-Being Law has been redrafted several times over the last year in accordance with the direction given at the AN CWBWG meetings and at information sessions held with Chiefs and Councils. The AN CWBWG met on April 2015, Manitoulin Hotel & Conference Centre; July 2015, Sagamok Anishnawbek; September 2015, Munsee-Delaware; December 2015, UOI-North Bay; February 2016, Alderville; and April 2016, Fort William. The next CWBWG is scheduled for July 2016 on Mississauga # 8 FN.
The CWBWG will continue to work on the implementation plan and strive to complete the implementation work by April 1, 2017. We are in the process of seeking individual band council resolutions for the ratification and adoption of the AN Child Well-Being Law. The community presentations will be scheduled over the next fiscal year or you may contact the Social Development department to arrange a presentation.
Canadian Human Rights Tribunal
The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal has ruled on the case involving First Nations under-funding of child welfare services on-reserve. The immediate relief order was issued on April 26, 2016.
The tribunal panel ordered that Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) immediately consider Jordan’s Principle as including all jurisdictional disputes (including between federal government departments) and involving all First Nations children, (not just the children with multiple disabilities). Pursuant to the purpose and intent of Jordan’s Principle, the government organization that is first contacted should pay for the service without the need for policy review or case conferencing before funding is provided. INAC has responded to the immediate relief order and will increase funding for the First Nations Child and Family Services Program. There will be immediate adjustments to the operations and prevention through additional investments to update existing funding agreements.
Aboriginal Child and Youth Strategy
The Ministry of Children and Youth Services (MCYS) has been meeting with First Nations leadership and technicians to co-develop an Aboriginal Children and Youth Strategy. The main priority of the Anishinabek Nation is to exercise our jurisdiction in child welfare through the implementation of our Anishinabek Nation Child Well-Being Law.
Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee, Ogimaa Duke Peltier, and Chief Peter Collins have been attending the Bilateral and Leadership meetings with the MCYS. The most recent bilateral discussion took place in February 2016. The MCYS and the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs hosted another leadership table meeting with the PTO’s and Independent First Nations on May 5, 2016. Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee, Ogimaa Duke Peltier and Chief Peter Collins and Social Services Director attended the meeting. Agency Directors are provided opportunities to attend and submit briefing notes at both the bilateral and leadership roundtable meetings.
The AN has been working with Wikwemikong Health Centre to incorporate “Wikwemikong’s Children’s Well-Being Measure” into First Nations and First Nation Agencies across Ontario and will be incorporated into the AN Child Well-Being Law system. The measure is also known as “Aanish Naa Gegii.”