KENORA – Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs (INAC), announced $9.11 million in child and family services funding for First Nations in Ontario in 2017-2018, flowing from the planned Liberal Government five year investment announced in Budget 2016 of nearly $635 million.
“Child welfare is one of the most pressing concerns faced by our communities. This approach to investment in child welfare, taken on by Minister Bennett, demonstrates that only communities can and should decide where and how funds must be spent in order to best address their needs. These grants are a positive step forward towards prevention of child welfare. I look forward to working further with Minister Bennett moving forward, in order to continue to address the needs of our communities in a meaningful way,’’ says Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day.
This new funding will flow directly to eligible Ontario First Nations to strengthen community-based prevention activities that will help parents access the supports they need to raise their children in safe and healthy environments.
“The health and well-being of First Nations children, youth and communities is a priority in the path to reconciliation. Today we are working with our partners to take the concrete steps necessary to help First Nations parents in Ontario raise their children in safe and healthy environments in their communities,” says Dr. Carolyn Bennett, M.D., P.C., M.P., Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs.
Bob Nault, Member of Parliament (Kenora riding), issued the following statement, “Today the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs (INAC), announced $9.11 million in child and family services funding for First Nations in Ontario in 2017-2018, flowing from the unprecedented five year investment in Budget 2016 of nearly $635 million.
“Children are our most important asset; they are our future leaders, and we need to ensure that they have the resources and services necessary to thrive,” adds Nault. “Health and well-being is essential to child’s ability to succeed, and this investment is a step in the right direction. It will help to provide safe and secure environments, both at home and in the community.”
“I welcome this very important investment by the Government of Canada, which will help First Nations children in Ontario access programs and supports they need. It’s our shared priority to improve the well-being of First Nations children and youth and we are committed to continue to work with partners and the federal government towards this goal,” comments David Zimmer, Ontario Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation.
- Budget 2016 made historic investments in the First Nations Child and Family Services Program, with nearly $635 million over five years and $176.8 million in ongoing new funding.
- The goal of this $9.11 million in funding is to ensure that parents in Ontario First Nations communities have access to programming that emphasizes creating safe and healthy environments for children.
- INAC is working with First Nation partners and provincial colleagues to reach agreement on the details of the funding methodology to be used this year.
- A partnership between the Government of Canada and the Nishnawbe Aski Nation in Ontario was recently announced, committing to work together on an equitable and evidenced-based child welfare funding model that focuses on the needs of the child, but is also responsive to geographic remoteness, community needs and infrastructure, and cultural traditions.
- The Government of Canada is committed to full scale reform of the First Nations Child and Family Services program to ensure it is meeting the needs of First Nations children and families. To this effect, a Minister’s Special Representative has been engaging with partners across the country, and a number of tripartite tables have been established with First Nations and provincial and territorial governments to work together on real reform that puts the well-being of children first. An online engagement process has also been established.