Liberals table 'historic' Indigenous child welfare bill

Treasury Board President Jane Philpott says too many Indigenous children are being taken from their mothers and placed in foster care.

But the former minister of Indigenous services says she hopes a new law on Indigenous child welfare will change that.

Philpott commented yesterday as legislation that seeks to affirm the right of Indigenous Peoples to have jurisdiction over child welfare in their communities was tabled in the House of Commons.

Bill C-92 emphasizes the need for the child-welfare system to promote preventative care and support for families instead of apprehending Indigenous children from their mothers.

The over-representation of Indigenous children in foster care has been described as a humanitarian crisis.

The bill was tabled by Seamus O'Reagan, who took over as Indigenous-services minister from Philpott after last month's cabinet shuffle.

First Nations, Inuit and Metis leaders have applauded the legislation as a turning point in Indigenous Peoples' right to self-determination and reconciliation.