British Columbia’s Indigenous Child & Family Services Directors (ICFSD) congratulate the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society and the Assembly of First Nations on the $40 billion agreement in principle they have reached with Canada. This agreement specifies funding commitments and guiding principles to reform Canada’s First Nations child & family services and to compensate the children and families who have been harmed by underfunding, denials of service, and discrimination.
The ICFSD are cautiously optimistic that this agreement will support the delivery of the services that Indigenous children, families and communities need.
The battle to end discrimination against First Nations children and families, to prevent further discrimination, and to compensate the victims of discrimination has been very long. The ICFSD offer our whole hearted appreciation to Cindy Blackstock, the Caring Society, and the AFN for persevering in this work. Their efforts truly honour the residential school survivors, those who have suffered from the 60s scoop, and all those that suffered from the discriminatory practices.
This agreement in principle signals that discrimination against Indigenous children and families will no longer be tolerated. The ICFSD call on the Provincial government to take immediate steps to ensure that provincially funded Indigenous child and family services conform to the commitments outlined in the agreement in principle.
“This is a good day and a concrete step toward reconciliation,” says Mary Teegee, Chair of the ICFSD and member of the Caring Society board of directors. “Let us hope that this agreement in principle is the start of a new chapter in a new year.”