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Sask. First Nations applaud Supreme Court ruling that upholds child welfare rights

Indigenous organizations in Saskatchewan are commending the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision to uphold the Government of Canada’s child welfare law.

On Feb. 9, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the federal government’s 2019 Indigenous child welfare act is constitutional, affirming that First Nations Peoples have sole authority over the protection of their children.

“The act as a whole is constitutionally valid,” the court wrote in its 110-page decision, adding that it “falls squarely within Parliament’s legislative jurisdiction.”

The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) applauded the ruling.

“Under federal and provincial colonial and racist policies such as Indian Residential Schools, the Sixties Scoop, and the Millenium Scoop, First Nations children have been exploited, commodified, and enslaved. These ways have disrupted our Nations and killed our children,” FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron said in a release.

“We have never given up our Inherent and Human Rights to care for and protect our own children within our own traditional systems. We have never surrendered this right to the governments, under whose systems our children have suffered and died for over a century. These foreign systems fail our children.”

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An Indigenous-owned consulting business firm called Warshield stated they work with more than 20 First Nations and Indigenous communities across Canada to assist in child welfare law issues, building protection and systems for Indigenous children and families.

“This landmark ruling reinforces Indigenous Peoples’ jurisdiction over child and family services, marking a pivotal moment in the recognition of Indigenous rights and self-governance,” Warshield CEO Max FinDay said in a release. “We could not be prouder to see justice win in today’s ruling.”

The ruling stated the essential matter addressed by the act involves protecting the well-being of Indigenous children, youth and families by promoting the delivery of culturally appropriate child and family services and, in so doing, advancing the process of reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.

 – with files from The Canadian Press



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