FSIN, NDP call on government to act on rising number of Indigenous children in care
The FSIN and the provincial opposition joined in the Legislature Wednesday, to call on the government to prioritize the rising number of Indigenous children in care.
FSIN Vice Chief David Pratt said First Nations have the tools to be much more involved in the process, and that there’s no way non-Indigenous people can implement Indigenous culture.
“Our 17 agencies, we're well prepared,” Pratt said. “Saskatchewan First Nations are ready to take over and assert that jurisdiction and bring those children home to our community."
The opposition stood behind the FSIN to echo their call.
"We need to be creative enough to look at what's best for kids and adjust our structure appropriately and accordingly," NDP leader Ryan Meili said.
The province said it's looking at ways to get more Indigenous families involved as foster families for kids in care, and do more to involve councils and the FSIN.
"If there's any child in need of care, whether they're on or off the reserve, we want to make sure that child has contact with their culture, with their community and with any extended family members,” Minister of Social Services Paul Merriman said.
The debate on the topic in Question Period turned to accusations that the province isn't following recommendations from 60’s Scoop Survivors. The province responded that the opposition didn’t take part in sharing circles by survivors that led to those recommendations.
"We weren't asked to come, I would have been happy to when we were informed about them by some of the people involved in the society, we then heard later they got in trouble for that from the government," Meili said.
Merriman said the event was not the government’s event to invite people to.
The government said the discussion is ongoing with First Nations regarding childcare, and some new federal legislation could be a factor in changes made in Saskatchewan.
Based on a report by CTV Regina's Cole Davenport.