The Government of Canada, British Columbia and the Wet’suwet’en are committed to working together to develop and implement a framework for exercising Wet’suwet’en jurisdiction over child and family services. It is a key step towards achieving the common goal of improving child and family services for the Wet’suwet’en Nation according to Wet’suwet’en traditions and culture.
Wet’suwet’en Chiefs, Katrine Conroy, B.C. Minister of Children and Family Development, and Carolyn Bennett, the federal Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) regarding child and family services at a ceremony in Wet’suwet’en Nation’s traditional territory on Oct. 11, 2018.
The MOU provides a culturally appropriate approach to child and family wellness that supports the Nation’s vision for self-determination and better health outcomes for Wet’suwet’en children and families.
Yagalahl, Wet’suwet’en Nation –
“Looking after our children has always been our business. We’ve always had this authority, and now B.C. and Canada are starting to recognize it. What B.C. and Canada have done in the past hasn’t worked. We have to do this ourselves.”
Chief Na’Moks, Wet’suwet’en Nation –
“The vehicle that we had up until now was not functioning. Now we have a new engine – which is recognition of our inherent authority and jurisdiction over our children – new wheels – which brings us to our future – and now we are behind the steering wheel.”
Carolyn Bennett, federal Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations –
“The health and well-being of Indigenous children and families is among Canada’s most important priorities. It is clear that the current system isn’t working. We are proud that the Wet’suwet’en Nation will once again exercise jurisdiction over their children, which will better reflect the needs and aspirations of Wet’suwet’en communities.”
Jane Philpott, federal Minister of Indigenous Services –
“This MOU is an important milestone in recognizing the inherent rights Indigenous peoples have over their child and family services. Our government is proud to support Wet’suwet’en Nation’s vision for self-determination and improved health outcomes for their communities.”
Katrine Conroy, B.C.’s Minister of Children and Family Development –
“By signing this MOU, we are taking an important step today with the Wet’suwet’en, a step that represents a commitment by all three parties to walk together towards supporting the Wet’suwet’en to care for their children and families in the Wet’suwet’en way. This new partnership solidifies the agreement we made with the Nation last year. I congratulate the Wet’suwet’en for their leadership in moving this important work forward.”
- The MOU is a tripartite agreement between the Wet’suwet’en, the Province of B.C. (represented by the Ministry of Children and Family Development), and Canada (represented by Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada and Indigenous Services Canada).
Office of the Wet’suwet’en: http://www.wetsuweten.com/