March 05, 2019

Government of Saskatchewan And Saskatoon Tribal Council Working To Improve Child Welfare

The Government of Saskatchewan and the Saskatoon Tribal Council (STC) have agreed to work together toward better outcomes for Indigenous children, youth and families.

“Our government’s new partnership with STC will be based on collaboration, dialogue and respect,” Social Services Minister Paul Merriman said.  “We are committed to working together to improve outcomes for Indigenous children and families and to preserve connections to their language, culture and values.”

“We look forward to working with the ministry and are glad we are out of court and that STC will be getting back its agency status,” STC Tribal Chief Mark Arcand said.  “The children are the priority and together we can move forward toward reconciliation and help our own children in care because it is our shared priority to keep all children safe.  This is a positive move towards building a nation to nation relationship.”

One of the first priorities for the province and STC is the implementation of a “First Contact Panel Protocol.”  The protocol will bring Social Services and STC representatives together in a formal way with families involved in the child welfare system, so all parties can participate in planning and decision-making for children.

“While we continue working together on child safety, we are also working to formally establish STC, under the leadership of Tribal Chief Arcand, as a Child and Family Services Agency,” Merriman said.  “STC will join the 17 First Nation Agencies we work with around the province to support and strengthen Indigenous children and families.”

Both the province and STC have ended legal action that began in 2016.