AMC Grand Chief Derek Nepinak Continues to Innovate
WINNIPEG – The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs hosted a Pipe Ceremony and Community Feast on Friday to mark the commitment to create positive change for First Nations families and children affected by the Child and Family Services system.
The AMC state, “The aim of this event is to begin community engagement in the best possible way, rooted in our customary traditions of asking for guidance and direction”.
Through ceremony earlier this week, the First Nations Family and Child Advocate Office requested a Spirit Name.
This new name was revealed at the event and the First Nations Family and Child Advocate and Assistant Advocate was introduced.
As a foundational first step, the AMC is implementing the establishment of the Office of the First Nation Family Advocate. The office will be a safe place for children, families and those working in the CFS system to raise concerns regarding systemic problems, practises, various abuses and other challenges that are contributing to negative impacts on our children’s spiritual, emotional, mental, or physical well-being and safety. These negative impacts manifest in the tragedies we are experiencing in our communities not only amongst our children but in the numbers of our people who are either missing or murdered.
This is a first step toward right direction for Families and Children
Recently, the Truth and Reconciliation released its final Report including 94 recommendations to help improve the relationship between Aboriginals and non-Aboriginals. “This is a first step towards the right direction to reconciliation but it will take real effort from all parties to mend our relationships. The Child Welfare industry manifests from the Residential School System that set the precedent for our children being taken away from their parents and homes. At times, First Nations children are placed into foster homes where they are taught to be ashamed of their culture, or worse, ashamed of their family. This is a continued Genocide on First Nations as described by Justice Murray Sinclair in the release of the TRC report,” stated Grand Chief Derek Nepinak.
Today, the AMC will formally introduce the new First Nations Family Advocate Office, First Nations Family Advocate and Assistant Family Advocate. This movement of establishing the First Nations Family Advocate Office is grounded in First Nations customary ways as the first people of Turtle Island. A tradition ceremony took place earlier this week to give the First Nations Family Advocate Office its spirit name, “Abinoojiyag Bigiiwewag” (pronounced A-Bin-Ooo-Jee-Ak Pi-Kay-Way-Yuk). In translation, Our Children are Coming Home.
AMC has taken a first step by implementing the establishment of the Office of the First Nation Family Advocate. “The office will be a safe place for children, families and those working in the CFS system to raise concerns regarding systemic problems, practices, various abuses and other challenges that are contributing to negative impacts on our children’s spiritual, emotional, mental, or physical well-being and safety”.
For more information on the office call 1-855-996-9989.