Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Southern First Nations Network of Care: Manitoba

The Southern First Nations Network of Care hosted their 14th Annual General Assembly.


The Southern First Nations Network of Care receives its mandate from the First Nations in Southern Manitoba and through The Child and Family Services Authorities Act (CFSAA). The Southern Network along with the other three CFS Authorities are responsible for the establishment and management of a province-wide service delivery system. This includes ensuring that services are delivered to Southern First Nation Citizens throughout the province, as well as people who choose the Southern Network.

In 2003, by proclamation of The Child and Family Services Authorities Act, four new Child and Family Services Authorities, including the First Nations of Southern Manitoba Child and Family Services Authority (Southern First Nations Network of Care) were established.  Through the AJI-CWI, the child and family services system has been restructured with the intent to better respond to and meet the needs of Indigenous peoples in Manitoba. 

The Southern First Nations Network of Care. General Assembly entertainment.

The Child and Family Industry in Manitoba (Canada, New Zealand,Australia and the US) has been very difficult on the Indigenous family and community. The problems are many: apprehension, laws and regulations not fitting with Indigenous community, bureaucracy disconnect, political disconnect, among other issues.

In Manitoba there are no clear answers to the nightmare of the Child and Family systems for Indigenous families and their communities. The legislation in some instances make it difficult for the Child Family Agencies to utilize some discretion. The reality of not following the rules could leave the Agency and the worker is a world of hurt and liability.

The sad thing about the SFNNC is that it can only follow the provincial legislation. What that means is that it is a another level of bureaucracy. It can challenge the legislation but has no real means to do it. So what can it accomplish? The status quo does not work for Indigenous community. The government does not seek input from the SFNNC. The government decides, announces and defends its decisions regarding Indigenous children (DAD principle). The strength of SFNNC is its communicating directly with communities through the agencies in the community. SFNNC has to take a stronger role in challenging the government and legislation. The consequences of standing up to the government are worth it. Its for the Children.

There were a number of speakers at the General Assembly.  Striking comments made at the annual assembly were made by Katherine Whitecloud. She said "I can't agree with a system that doesn't love our Children". She also said her Grandmother told her that "Someday you will eat your children". It has been said by others as well. Ms Whitecloud told the story of a former drug dealer; and his best days of sales came when it was the Child Tax days. In other words parents eating (drugging) off their children.

NOTE: The Caring Society

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