- The Province is working with partners to help preserve the vibrancy of B.C. Aboriginal culture for future generations and ensure that children and youth are living in strong, healthy families where they are connected to their culture and traditions.
- The Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) is helping to reduce the number of Aboriginal children and youth coming in to government care by working with First Nations, Inuit and Métis partners to ensure that services and supports reflect an Indigenous perspective and approach.
- Together, we are working to strengthen culturally relevant early childhood development programs and services, both on and off reserve, through Aboriginal agencies throughout B.C. with the goals to increase the overall health and wellbeing of Aboriginal children and foster language and culture as the basis of all programs and services.
- In September 2015, Grand Chief Ed John was appointed as Special Advisor to the Minister on Indigenous children in care, permanency and early years. In his role, Grand Chief John met with 86 First Nations, 10 Delegated Aboriginal Agencies and 12 organizations or interest groups over a 14-month period.
- In November 2016, Grand Chief Ed John produced a report recommending 85 systemic changes in government’s approach to Aboriginal child welfare, 71 of which fall under MCFD.
- This report has been considered in the context of the ministry's operational plan and Budget 2017, of which $70.1 million was allocated for 2017-18 to make improvements in line with Grand Chief Ed John’s recommendations, and the biggest portions are:
- $14.4 million to help ensure Delegated Aboriginal Agencies are funded at levels equitable to the ministry;
- $24.2 million for family supports and reunification, culturally appropriate services, and additional staff within Indigenous communities; and,
- $16 million for services to children in care including those with special needs.
- There are 23 Delegated Aboriginal Agencies (DAAs) throughout British Columbia, representing approximately 116 First Nations bands, as well as Urban Aboriginal and Métis communities – these currently serve approximately 43% of the Aboriginal children in care in the province.
- The total number of Aboriginal children served by a DAA has more than tripled since 2001 – from 513 (Jan. 2001) to 1,916 (Jan. 2017).
- Since 2005-06, MCFD has nearly tripled funding to DAA’s — MCFD now provides $101 million annually to support their work in Aboriginal communities.
- MCFD invests $5.7 million in the Aboriginal Service Innovations – Early Years Initiative each year, with 31 partner agencies focusing on direct services like kindergarten readiness, parenting and language and cultural support for Aboriginal children aged zero to six years and their families: http://ow.ly/6Smb307UUi1
- $8.3 million is directed to the Aboriginal Service Innovations – Child Safety and Permanence program each year, with 36 contracted partners working to keep children safe and to secure permanent homes through supports to Aboriginal children and their families throughout British Columbia.
- A further $7.9 million is provided at the community and service delivery level in 2016-17 to support a variety of Aboriginal early childhood development programs in urban areas, such as creating new child-care spaces or providing community outreach services.
- $1.8 million was provided to the Indigenous Perspectives Society in 2016-17 to develop culturally focused permanency plans, provide caregiver training and find homes for Aboriginal children and youth in foster care.
- An additional $363,000 supports provincial advisor roles for the Aboriginal Infant Development and Aboriginal Supported Child Development programs. These roles provide oversight, support and guidance to regional consultants working directly with families.
- In May 2016, the Children and Family Gathering brought together First Nations leaders, government, child and family-serving agencies, individuals and communities, to better understand historic and current challenges and to identify immediate and long term opportunities to improve outcomes for all First Nations children in every community.
- B.C. was the first province in Canada to endorse Jordan’s Principle in 2008 in response to the death of Jordan River Anderson, a child from the Norway House First Nation in Northern Manitoba. Jordan’s Principle is used across Canada to resolve jurisdictional disputes within and between governments to ensure all children have access to the services and supports they need, as soon as they need them.
Government Communications and Public EngagementMinistry of Children and Family Development