Koognaasewin Child Well-being Law

Address: 473 Hwy 17 W , Cutler, On., P0P1B0
Phone: 1-877-633-7558 toll free
Phone: 705-844-2340
Fax: 705-844-2563
https://koognaasewin.ca/

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The following information can be found on the Koognaasewin website here.

Background

The North Shore Tribal Council October 2018 resolution concerning child welfare recognizes the need to restore Anishinabe jurisdiction for child welfare. Developing a new Child Welfare Law is being undertaken by the North Shore Tribal Council and a project team has been created to work with Nogdawindamin, other Tribal Council entities such as , Niigaanaan, Mamawesying and the NSTC First Nations on the development of a new law. This project has been named Koognaasewin.

Community consultation is a critical component towards supporting North Shore communities as they each, in their own way, develop the necessary processes to achieve the goal of restoring jurisdiction, control and capacity for child welfare and child wellbeing.

Approved by the North Shore Tribal Council and the Nogdawindamin Board of Directions, the strategy seeks to hold meaningful consultations with Elders, youth, leaders, members, practitioners, and other sectors as identified by communities. We welcome feedback and direction from all communities on other populations and groups they want to engage throughout this multi-year process.

In 1987, the North Shore Tribal Council (NSTC) began the process of restoring child welfare control and authority back to the communities. The resolution states in part:

“WHEREAS the objective of that planning process is the development of a plan for the re-establishment of community care of children and families of North Shore Tribal Council-affiliated bands; and, WHEREAS that planning process has been undertaken by the Child and Family Services Planning Committee, appointed by the North Shore Tribal Chiefs, which will lead to negotiations between the Minister of Community and Social Services, the Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs and the North Shore Tribal Chiefs in 1988, for the transfer of the program authorities and resources of Children’s Aid Societies (CASs) to the North Shore Tribal Council and affiliated bands; ……”

On August 1, 1990 the NSTC created the Nogdawindamin Family and Community Services organization. The Objects of the corporation are stated as:

The establishment and operation of a child and family care organization which will research, design and deliver culturally appropriate services to children and their families in Indian communities and to Indian children and their families in other parts of the corporation’s catchment area;

In July 2009, the North Shore Tribal Council passed another resolution which authorized Nogdawindamin to seek society designation status as a fully mandated child welfare agency:

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT

The North Shore Tribal Council hereby extends its full support, and authorizes Nog-Da-Win-Da-Min to pursue designation as a child welfare agency, under Part X, s. 211(2)(c) of the Child and Family Services Act; performing the functions of a mandated child welfare agency;
Designation as a mandated child welfare agency under the Child and Family Services Act shall be an Interim measure to the exercise of each First Nation’s jurisdiction under the Anishnabek Child Welfare Law, as negotiated with the Government of Canada, pursuant to our Aboriginal and Inherent rights;

In April 2017, Nogdawindamin began functioning as a fully mandated child welfare agency in accordance with the laws of Ontario.
In October 2018, the North Shore Tribal Council passed another resolution to proceed with the next phase of the child welfare developmental process to achieve the goal of restoring Anishinabek control and capacity for child welfare (key provisions) and INCLUDING LAW DEVELOPMENT (excerpt):

“…..The issue of Child Welfare is a substantive and pervasive issue that is embodied in regional, provincial, and federal discussions and actions;…….
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT:
1) NSTC undertake to establish a Terms of Reference for a joint Nog/NSTC Working Group to be approved by both parties in advance.
2) A Joint Nog/NSTC Regional Working Group be formed with representation from all North Shore First Nations for the purpose of:
a. Investigating and reviewing the various options for proceeding with the development of a North Shore Child Welfare Law including:
i. Investigation as to applicable funding options and programs,
ii. investigation of the impact/implications of current and proposed reforms,
iii. reviewing alternative models and best practices/experiences from for other regions,
b. Preparing a consultation and engagement strategy with timelines for the approval of Nog and NSTC identifying the purpose, format, methods and expected/desired outcomes and deliverables.
c. On approval of the above, undertake consultation and engagement with North Shore Tribal Council Area First Nations on their specific needs and expectations to be considered in developing a new Child Welfare Law.
d. Providing regular quarterly progress reporting and recommendations on the above….”

The process is multifaceted to ensure that the requirements set out in the NSTC Resolution are accomplished and that the outcome will be fully informed by research, best practices, consultation, readiness assessment and an implementation plan.

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