WINNIPEG – The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs are hosting an Open Citizens Forum to hear what First Nations citizens have to say about the state of Child and Family Services in Manitoba.
In a statement issued by the AMC, “In December 2013 Manitoba received the report on the Phoenix Sinclair Inquiry entitled The Legacy of Phoenix Sinclair Achieving the Best for All Our Children. Manitoba did not release it to the public until a month later. AMC Grand Chief Derek Nepinak requested to work with Manitoba in developing a joint response to the recommendations. Manitoba chose not to engage the AMC or First Nations.
“The current Manitoba child welfare system is based on good faith negotiations between the Province and First Nations to implement the recommendations of the AJI-CWI. Justice Hughes was clear that Phoenix Sinclair’s death was not caused by devolution or the current manifestation of the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry-Child Welfare Initiative (AJI-CWI).
“Despite this, the Province continues to make unilateral decisions that intentionally leaves out the engagement of First Nations as. In effect, Manitoba has not bothered to follow the existing AJI-CWI structures that allow for First Nations engagement envisioned by Manitoba itself and First Nations, and provided for in legislation. This is a contributing factor to why Manitoba is now leading the world in the number of Aboriginal children in care.
“First Nations Leadership remains willing to work collaboratively to ensure that the best interests of First Nations children and families, and to implement the Phoenix Sinclair Inquiry Report’s recommendations. Accordingly, the AMC Chiefs-in-Assembly will formulate a response to the Phoenix Sinclair Inquiry Report later this month based on the voices of their people from this Open Citizens Forum”.
DATE: Thursday, May 1, 2014
TIME: 8:30am to 4:30pm (Pipe Ceremony at 8:30)
LOCATION: Indian and Metis Friendship Centre, 45 Robinson St, Winnipeg
PARTICIPANTS: Community members, Child and Family Services Authorities and Agency representatives, Leadership
Grand Chief Nepinak and other leadership in attendance will be making public statements on the state of the Child & Family Services system and will be available for limited one on one discussion.