SEPTEMBER 9, 2019
FIRST NATIONS LEADERSHIP COUNCIL WELCOMES THE COMING INTO FORCE OF AN ACT RESPECTING FIRST NATIONS, INUIT AND MÉTIS CHILDREN, YOUTH AND FAMILIES
Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səl̓ilwətaʔɬ/sel̓ílwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Territories/Vancouver:
The First Nations Leadership Council (FNLC) is pleased with the announcement today that will see the full bringing into force of Bill C-92, An Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families on January 1st, 2020. The coming into force of this Act recognizes the inherent jurisdiction over children and families that First Nations have never given up, and a long overdue change that First Nations in British Columbia have been waiting for to address the crisis that exists in child welfare for First Nations children and families.
“First Nations in British Columbia have always taken the position that supporting our children and families is part of our inherent rights as the First peoples of British Columbia, and as First Nations. We have been waiting for this legal affirmation of our rights for a long time”, said Cheryl Casimer of the First Nations Summit. “Since Bill C-92 received Royal Assent on June 21st, 2019, the FNLC has been pushing Canada for the immediate and full bringing into force of this legislation. We appreciate the announcement today and will continue to work together with our partners to ensure that there is an effective, BC-Specific, transition plan established with adequate funding for First Nations attached”.
“As Indigenous Peoples, we have always maintained inherent jurisdiction over our children and families that includes decision-making and governance”, stated Kukpi7 Judy Wilson, Secretary-Treasurer of the UBCIC. “In addition, our children hold basic human rights which include remaining within their families and communities, and with the full implementation it will be under our own processes. Communities decide how they will move forward in a way that sees their laws recognized and affirmed through a Nation to Nation basis.”
BCAFN Regional Chief Terry Teegee concluded, “We are glad that an Order in Council has been made which will see this legislation finally realized. We would like to thank Minister O’Regan for his work in seeing this through and we look forward to ongoing discussions that will ensure that First Nations in BC are able to draw down on and fully benefit from this legislation.”
The First Nations Leadership Council is comprised of the political executives of the BC Assembly of First Nations (BCAFN), First Nations Summit (FNS), and the Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC)
For further comment please contact:
Cheryl Casimer, First Nations Summit Political Executive: 778-875-2157
Regional Chief Terry Teegee, BC Assembly of First Nations: 250-981-2151
Kukpi7 Judy Wilson, Secretary-Treasurer, UBCIC: 250-320-7738