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Indigenous Child & Family Services Directors Host a National Conference on Indigenous Child Welfare

The Indigenous Child & Family Services Directors are pleased to present Our Children Our Way: A Forum for Indigenous Child & Family Wellbeing. This national conference on Indigenous child welfare will be held at the Vancouver Convention Centre on November 21, 22 & 23. Over 800 delegates will attend.

We are at a moment of historic change. We are breathing life into our own traditional family laws. We are holding up our cultural teachings to build meaningful support for our children and families. We are re-writing our stories of trauma and hurt with new narratives of healing and strength. For all of us engaged in this good work, this conference provides a venue to share, to learn and to hold each other up,” notes Mary Teegee, Chair of the Indigenous Child & Family Services Directors.

Dr. Cindy Blackstock will provide a keynote address and Madelaine McCallum will host the proceedings. Plenary panelists will include scholars, lawyers, service delivery leaders, and the most knowledgeable experts of all: young people with lived experience of the child welfare system.

Presenters from across Canada will discuss:

*   Best practices in Indigenous child & family services;

*   Prevention practices;

*   Operational support for service providers;

*   Community engagement; and

*   Resumption of Indigenous jurisdiction.

Representatives from the Squamish Nation will open the conference in ceremony. Throughout the three days, Witnesses will observe the proceedings and may be called upon to summarize and uphold the intentions of the teachings.

Witnessing is a way to gather the medicines of the ceremony and share them with others so they may receive the love and revive their spirits with the connection to traditional knowledge,” explains Kelley McReynolds, Executive Director of Ayás Mén̓men Child & Family Services.