The federal government has recently proposed new legislation which will give jurisdiction over First Nations, Inuit and Métis children to First Nation Child Welfare agencies. Kenora MP Bob Nault said indigenous children make up a large percentage of children in care.

"52 per cent of kids in care are indigenous. If you think about that from the perspective of, only 7 per cent of the kids in Canada are aboriginal, that's disturbing and that's a crisis," he said.

The bill would support communities in pursuing self-determination and in making their own laws regarding child and family services.

Nault says currently the jurisdiction is controlled by provincial legislation.

"Now the way the laws are written provincially is most of these kids don't qualify to stay in their own communities because of the situation of their communities. For example, there are restrictions to how many kids can stay in a room," he said.

The Bill seeks to preserve children's connection to their family, community and culture.

Bill C-92 is the culmination of extensive engagements with partners, which began with the January 2018 Emergency Meeting on Indigenous Child and Family Services. As a result, the federal government committed to six points of action to address the over-representation of Indigenous children and youth in care, including exploring the co-development of legislation on Indigenous child and family services. Engagement with Indigenous partners, provinces, territories, and experts is ongoing, and will continue after the Bill receives Royal Assent.

For more information:

Bill C-92

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