FSIN SUPPORTS FIRST NATION JURISDICTION ON CHILD AND FAMILY SERVICES
(Treaty 6 Territory, Saskatoon, SK) – The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations Executive stands united with the Saskatoon Tribal Council as they remain focused on the children they serve while defending First Nation jurisdiction on child and family service matters against the Provincial Social Services Ministry. FSIN Vice Chief Bob Merasty will be available to the media at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, June 17, 2016 in front of the Confederation Park School, 3555 John A. MacDonald Road, Saskatoon, SK.
“The Social Services Ministry has no jurisdiction regarding on-reserve matters, especially when it comes to First Nation children,” said FSIN Vice Chief Bob Merasty. “The Saskatoon Tribal Council has been very open about their efforts to resolve the matter but the Ministry has not been responsive.”
The FSIN supports the Saskatoon Tribal Council’s efforts to develop protocols to address data sharing processes with the Social Services Ministry. The FSIN also recognizes the Saskatoon Tribal Council Indian and Child Family Service Agency has not had any deaths of children in their care in the past two decades.
“We believe it is in the best interests of the child that they remain in the community where they will receive the best supports,” said Vice Chief Merasty. “It was reported by the Saskatchewan Advocate for Children and Youth office in its 2015 Annual Report that 26 children died in provincial care last year – 13 of them were of Indigenous descent. It is very insulting to have the Ministry step in with their track record and tell our Agencies that they are not able to provide services to their own citizens.”
The FSIN represents 74 First Nations in Saskatchewan. The Federation is committed to honouring the spirit and intent of the Treaties, as well as the promotion, protection and implementation of the Treaty promises that were made more than a century ago.