APTN National News
It’s been a long time in the making, but the Grand Council of Treaty 3 is one step closer to taking ownership of its child welfare and related programs.
The agreement signed between the Province of Ontario and the Grand Council Treaty 3 will work out the transfer of programs including early childhood education, youth mental health, and after school youth activities.
“It’s good to see the commitment from the province to come and do a visit,” said Wauzhushk Onigum Nation Chief Chris Skead. “To actually see firsthand a First Nation community. I know I’m only one of 28 communities. But to me it’s going to be a good day, it involves our youth, our elders, the people in general in Wauzhushk Onigum.
“So I’m looking forward to this visit and hopefully we’re gonna have a good day in Wauzhushk Onigum.”
The signing took place in Skead’s community located just outside Kenora, Ont.
The process of getting the transfer of jurisdiction has been in the works for years prior to this signing.
“It’s a process that began in 2009, I believe, you know my predecessors,” said Treaty 3 Grand Chief Francis Kavanaugh. “I believe as a leader you know I need to carry the football and move it those extra yards.
“And hopefully someday we’ll have our own, we do have our own laws, and we want the governments, not only the province, but Canada to start to acknowledge and recognize that we have our own laws, we have our own jurisdiction.”
The province is calling the signing, “historic.”
“I don’t think most folks outside of the people involved understand the significance of whats happening today,” said Michael Coteau, minister of Children and Youth Services. “Because this is a transfer of jurisdiction and those resources for the delivery of those programs and services back into the community’s hands, where they should be.”
“Because this is a transfer of jurisdiction and those resources for the delivery of those programs and services back into the community’s hands, where they should be.”
There is no timetable to have the services transferred.
But both the grand council, and the province says they will continue to meet and work out the details.
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