Indigenous leaders in Saskatchewan will be asking the federal government for $1.8 billion to execute new child welfare rules.
Bill C-92 outlines factors that need to be considered to determine the best interests for Indigenous children.
First Nations’ leaders say the federal government hasn't provided funding to implement the new child welfare system, and suggest vulnerable children will suffer.
“Our children are looking out the window, waiting for us to bring them home. We as leaders, and parents and grandparents, will do our best to bring them home to our First Nation communities where they rightfully belong,” Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) Chief Bobby Cameron said.
Cameron, along with other Saskatchewan chiefs, announced Friday in a news conference they will be asking the feds for $360 million over five years.
The money will go towards things like education to ensure Indigenous children don’t lose their culture.
“We’re ready to proceed forward with the enabling legislation to get out from underneath the provincial child welfare act. We’re asking the federal government for a major investment for us to get that work started,” FSIN second vice-chief David Pratt told CTV News.
In an emailed statement to CTV News in December, Indigenous Services Canada spokesperson Rola Tfaili said the government is “actively working with partners toward a new funding model.”
“The Government of Canada will continue discussions with partners to determine the funding needed to prepare for implementation.”
The chiefs haven’t formally asked Ottawa for the money, but plan to make their proposal in the coming weeks.