The Tobique First Nation has a vision of assuming jurisdiction and control of the delivery of child welfare for its citizens under an Indigenous governance structure. The leadership is committed to creating Indigenous child welfare legislation and establishing a resilient autonomous child welfare institution to implement its law. The Tobique First Nation has mandated the Tobique First Nation Child and Family services agency Inc. (TCFSA) to act on behalf of the Tobique First Nation government in this matter.
It has not an overwhelmingly positive experience for Indigenous citizens. The negative aspects of Indigenous child welfare policies and procedures have been documented over the past 20 years beginning with the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples in 1996 have documented the deficiencies and produced recommendations that proposed changes to the laws and administrative processes. The recommendations although well-intended never received sufficient governmental support.
Dr. Blackstock has successfully challenged federal and provincial governments in the courts and tribunals. Numerous decisions by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal and the courts have instructed governments to act immediately to compensate those individuals damaged by the actions of government and to ensure fair and equal treatment of the children and families. One outcome form the numerous decisions is the recognition by Indigenous people that the Crown governments cannot be relied upon to assume care by Indigenous children. It is now the time to assume jurisdiction and control over child welfare and the delivery of child welfare services to Indigenous children.
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