Cooperation Programs

  • Take the above link to enter a separate page showing the history of cooperative intiatives between state and Indigenous organizations

Continue on this page to documentation of

Indigenous policy and position:


Kina Gbezhgomi Child and Family Services

25th Annual Report



Vision Statement Kina Gbezhgomi Child and Family Services will honour and support our family’s and community’s inherent authority to care for their children based on unity, traditions, values, beliefs and customs.

Mission Statement Our services ensure children are protected and stay connected with their culture, language and community while strengthening family and community relationships.

Service Principles
1. That all Prevention and Child Welfare Services delivered are culturally based utilizing traditions and practices that strengthen cultural identity for children and families. 2. That all Prevention and Child Welfare Services delivered will support children remaining in their communities with healthy caregivers to stay connected with their roots, culture and language. 3. That Child Welfare Services will be family-centered and family-focused while not compromising the safety and well-being of the child. 4. That Child Welfare Services will use innovative, collaborative processes that empower children, families and communities to participate in all aspects of case planning and decision making. 5. That all Prevention and Child Welfare Services will place emphasis on supporting families based on honest and open communication to create relationships and partnerships.


Bringing Our Children Home

  • Report and Recommendations

Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs



From the Executive Summary

The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs explored the child welfare system in Manitoba from the perspective of the people who must deal with the system directly including children (now adults), parents, grandparents, workers, and support service organizations that are established to help the people.
 These stories illustrate the devastating impact that the policies and practices of the current child welfare system are having on the First Nations children and families in Manitoba. … The implementation of all recommendations put forth by Justice Hughes in “The Legacy of Phoenix Sinclair: Achieving the Best for All Children” might make slight improvements within current system practice but the fact remains that the legacy of the Manitoba Child Welfare System is an extension of the cultural genocide experienced by the Residential School years and Sixties Scoop.
The only way out of the current child welfare crisis is to develop a completely new system based on the First Nations principles of: love, compassion, respect, and dignity. With the guidance of the First Nations Elders and Grandmothers, clear direction on how to do this will come from a higher power of Spirit. In order for this new path to be successful, it will be imperative for First Nations to never compromise the long‐term goals of “Bringing Our Children Home”

Draft resolution to support improved Child Welfare

Assembly of First Nations

2011, New Brunswick, Annual General Assembly


Therefore Be It Resolved:

That the Chiefs-in-Assembly:

  1. Direct the AFN to support and advocate for those First Nations seeking to have administrative programs and jurisdiction for child and family services in their respective territories…
  2. Direct the AFN to strongly encourage discussions between the Federal Government, Provincial governments and First Nations governments to create a coordinated strategy on First Nations Child and Family Services.
  3. …ensure these discussions are respectful of unique situations…, such as that of Ontario, the 1965 Welfare Agreement, and must include… provincial child advocates offices law makers and enforcers, mainstream child and family services agencies, First Nations child and family service technicians, and all related and relevant Federal and Provincial government department representatives.

First Nations Child and Family Welfare Council

Implementing the Indigenous Child at the Center Action Plan – British Columbia

Report September 2010


Letters – 2008-2010


Note that this Council, which was called an Interim Council and designed to implenent the Action Plan, died of starvation a couple years after the start of implementation. That is, funding was cancelled and provincial authorities ignored requests for meetings.


Haida Council re. Children and Families

Letter to First Nations Summit

September 2010 


Recognition and Reconciliation Protocol – BC

on First Nations Children, Youth and Families.

Between The Province of British Columbia and the First Nations Leadership Council (First Nations Summit; UBCIC; BC AFN)

March 2009


 Also see:

The BC Treaty Negotiating Times, Summer 2009: A Proposal for Legislated Recognition and Reconciliation



Indigenous Child at the Center Action Plan

First Nations Leadership Council (British Columbia)



From the Introduction:

While diverse in language, as well as cultural and spiritual practices, First Nations across North America share a remarkable commonality in their approaches to raising children. Invariably they place their children at the heart of a belief system closely aligned with the natural world. … However, through a series of governmental policies and actions, these traditional systems have been undermined by Eurocentric practice, much of which failed, and continues to fail today. As a result, 9,274 children were in care in BC as of the end of June 2007, with 51% being Aboriginal children. The numbers are projected to grow. Further, evidences shows that, once a person has been involved in the child welfare system in their youth, the chances are higher that they will be involved in the criminal justice system, and also that their own children will be involved in the child welfare system.

The survival of Indigenous Peoples is tied to our continued ability to care for and transmit culture to our children…

Press release re above plan: ind-child-at-centre-action-plan-fnlc-pr-july-2008



One Heart, One Mind

Statement of Solidarity and Cooperation

July 2008, Spences Bridge


WHEREAS the Aboriginal Nations have an inherent right of self-determination including jurisdiction relating to the children and families of those Nations;
WHEREAS Indigenous People have the Right to Self-Determination and the Right to Survival, Dignity and Well-Being.
WHEREAS our children and our families are our foundation now and in the future. They must be honored, respected, and recognized for their inherent value regardless of age, gender, circumstance, ability, sexual orientation, residency or Nationhood. …

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT we affirm our commitment made on November 29, 2007 to the ‘All Our Relations’ A Declaration of the Sovereign Indigenous Nations of British Columbia and on January 25, 2008 to the ‘Walking Together to Keep Indigenous Children at the Centre’ Declaration of Commitment.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT we the undersigned commit to working in Solidarity and Cooperation to design, deliver and evaluate programs and services for our children, families, communities, and Indigenous Nations in a way that is consistent with our common cultural beliefs and systems that improves our overall quality of life.
FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED THAT qualified support for the Indigenous Child at the Centre Action Plan will require further opportunity for input into the Action Plan through engagement at the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, First Nations Summit and BC Assembly of First Nations meetings.
FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED THAT we commit to the establishment of an Interim Chiefs Child and Family Wellness Council that will take primary responsibility to: …

See also Signature Pages:



Indigenous Child at the Center Chiefs’ Forum

January, 2008, Vancouver


Meeting agenda

All Our Relations

2007 Declaration of solidarity


First Nations Leadership Accord



An agreement between the First Nations Summit, the Assembly of First Nations – BC region, and the Union of BC Indian Chiefs. This Accord created the First Nations Leadership Council, which is a body made up of the executive of each of the three organizations.

Metis Association, Vancouver, Housing initiative


Grant application to the Victoria Foundation to improve the Association’s capacity to support families, especially the children, which had been made involved in the BC Ministry of Children and Families.


“Creating Stronger Metis Families Through Understanding of Identity and History”

The mission of the Vancouver Metis Community Association (VMCA) is to promote a healthy Metis community through promotion of Metis identity and culture. The VMCA has been a registered society since 1995. In the last nine years VMCA has worked with numerous partners such as; Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, Vancouver Multicultural Society, Corrections Services Canada, and many others. For the last two years the VMCA has been working with the John Howard Society of the Lower Mainland on a program we have called `Tansi Kiya.’ The Tansi Kiya program involves members of our Metis community working with individuals who are currently incarcerated in federal institutions helping them to prepare for release into free society. VMCA has also began a Metis library program that brings Metis specific literature to incarcerated Metis that are looking to learn more about themselves and their culture. VMCA also puts out a monthly newsletter entitled called ‘The Riel News’ that is mailed directly to over 800 homes in the Lower Mainland area. VMCA also works in areas around education, advocacy, and community development.


Native Child Welfare Association – Vancouver


Draft Constitution




The objectives of the Native Child Welfare Association:

  1. To recruit Native foster homes for Native children.
  2. To recruit Indian families to adopt Native children.
  3. To develop an Indian child care agency to assume responsibility for all Child Welfare matters in the Vancouver area.
  4. To act as a lobbying body that would promote legislation policy which effect Native families and children.
  5. To enhance the responsiveness of available social services to the needs of Native children and their families.
  6. To reduce the high number of Native children coming into care of the Ministry of Human Resources.
  7. To ensure that any planning is in the best interest of the Native child by ensuring protection of the child’s Indian identity and rights.
  8. To re-unite adopted Indian children with their natural parents or tribal group.

9. To cooperate and work until other organizations and agencies locally, provincially and nationally which concern themselves with the advancement of Native families and child welfare.


Líl’wat Child Care and Protection Law – 1989


“Nilh ts7a nxekmens i skelkekla7lhkalha lhes ripcalwit – This is the custom according to which our Elders raised children”

Research by Terri M. Williams, in consultation with Elders Mrs. Adelina Williams and Mrs. Mary Susan James

Chapters: Child care customs, spiritual values and beliefs; Children developing discipline at home; How to discipline your children to develop good habits; Parental responsibility; Teach your child respect when there is death in our community; Child Protection Law; Lil’wat Policy on Religions; Quotations from Lil’wat Elders.


Indian Child Caravan

1980, BC


Interview with Chief Wayne Christian, from Splatsin, Secwepemc, 2009. With the help of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, he led the Indian Child Caravan in 1979, to win Splatsin jurisdictional control over Splatsin children. That control continues to this day.


Indian Child Caravan Related Documents in UBCIC Resource Centre 



Aboriginal Rights Position Paper

Union of BC Indian Chiefs



From the Sacred Circle of Life

The first stage is childhood – you grow and learn many things that are supposed to be taught to us since the creation of time. During this part of our lives, we are taught that our minds and our hearts are closest to the creator of all good things. At this stage, the way the parent treats the child is always remembered by the child, and this is the way the child will treat you as an elder. He will respect the rest of life that has been given to us in the proper manner.

The next stage is adolescence.

This is the stage where young people are taught that all life is our relation and that each living thing on this earth needs each other to live. In this stage of adolescence, a person’s body is strong, it is swift in spirit, mind and body, with a strong heart and a strong will. It is during the adolescence stage of life where we see hard training and rigorous training for our minds and body and will to be strong.

The young people are taught by their parents to have great respect for the elders and to do whatever they can do to help the elders, for they are the ones who are teaching the ways that have been given to us since the creation of time. They cut the wood, find the food, hunt, get water, build shelters or homes.

“What we sell out now we are stealing from our children. The land and nature is not ours to sell it is only ours to honour, respect and protect for our children and our children’s children. And they say only through protecting our land and our children can we again hope for complete self-respect and peace of mind.” – Randy Chipps, Cheanuh Band


Indian Control of Indian Education

National Indian Brotherhood




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