TREATY ONE TERRITORY, MB – The Canadian Government, today, announced an $800,000 funding commitment to the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) First Nations Family Advocate Office (FNFAO). The funding will help expand the Advocate Office’s scope of work and its reach to help Manitoba First Nations contending with staggering numbers of Indigenous children in child and family services (CFS) care and daily newborn baby apprehension in Manitoba.
Grandmothers Council and Women’s Council Role
The AMC’s Grandmothers Council and First Nations Women’s Council will take leading roles as Manitoba First Nations implement solutions informed by community members that support family reunification and restoration, including revitalizing traditional parenting practices and implementing customary care.
Minister of Indigenous Services, Jane Philpott, stated, “The role held by the First Nations Family Advocate Office is crucial in supporting our shared objective of ensuring that the needs of First Nations children and families are met. Our government is pleased to support the Advocate Office as we take important steps forward to transforming the First Nations Child and Family Services Program in Manitoba.”
Cora Morgan, First Nations Family Advocate, stresses, “The numbers of Indigenous children being taken into CFS care cannot continue. This current system has failed Indigenous children and families and reforming the First Nations Child and Family Services Program requires focusing on prevention and family restoration, rather than apprehension.”
Manitoba has the highest child apprehension rate in the western world with the lowest threshold for child apprehension orders—children are often apprehended because of poverty.
Grand Chief Arlen Dumas concluded, “Addressing the CFS crisis in Manitoba requires political will from all concerned stakeholders. Canada’s support for the Advocacy Office is a positive step in a series of many required to realize true First Nations Child and Family Services Program reform in Manitoba.”
About the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs First Nations Family Advocate Office
Since 2015, the FNFAO has supported and advocated for Indigenous families involved with the CFS system by challenging existing jurisdictions, policies, laws, and organization.