The Canadian government and the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) are teaming up to invest in child and family services for Saskatchewan First Nations.

On Monday, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Carolyn Bennett and FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron signed a letter of accord confirming their partnership to reform child and family services in the province. The federal government plans to give FSIN $441,176 to begin its work.

“The Government of Canada believes strongly that working in partnership with First Nations to transform the child welfare system is foundational to reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples,” Minister Carolyn Bennett said in a written statement. “The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations’ leadership on this project, and collaboration with First Nations in Saskatchewan, will lead to real improvements on how child and family services are being provided in their communities.”

The FSIN represents all First Nations in Saskatchewan. The group says the new government funding will improve relationships in child and family services, and will help redesign the way services are delivered to Saskatchewan First Nations.

“The need for governance for First Nation child and family services in Saskatchewan is an important and urgent matter,” Cameron said in a news release. “This will be a community and land-based model of governance that is based on treaty and inherent rights. This comprehensive community engagement process will address First Nation child and family services needs in this province.”