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HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA (July 22, 2008) – Gerald Keddy, Member of Parliament for South Shore – St. Margaret’s, on behalf of the Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, together with the Honourable Judy Streatch, Nova Scotia Minister of Community Services, the Honourable Michael Baker, Nova Scotia Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Chief Lawrence Paul, President, Mi’kmaw Family and Children’s Services of Nova Scotia, today announced an historic framework for First Nations child and family services in Nova Scotia.
“We are pleased to move forward with our Nova Scotia and First Nations partners, who share the Government of Canada’s commitment to implement concrete changes in child and family services on reserves,” said Mr. Keddy.
“This new framework will help ensure families receive appropriate child and family services in a timely manner.”
The Government of Canada has invested $10.2 million in new funding to the Nova Scotia child and family services framework, which will be distributed over five years to the Mi’kmaw Family and Children’s Services of Nova Scotia. This investment will provide First Nations agencies with new resources that identify a family’s need before a child is removed from the family home.
“We have no greater responsibility than to ensure our children grow up in safe and healthy communities," said Minister Streatch. "We are pleased to be working with the federal government and our First Nations communities to ensure that all our children and families have access to the programs and services they need to remain healthy and together.”
"Today's announcement demonstrates the positive and growing working relationship we have been developing in Nova Scotia," said Minister Baker. "Mi'kmaq children represent the future of First Nation communities in Nova Scotia -- and today's announcement demonstrates our combined commitment to improving conditions for First Nations children and youth -- both provincially and nationally."
"I am very pleased with the Government of Canada’s approval of this framework for the Mi'kmaw Family and Children's Services of Nova Scotia," said Chief Lawrence Paul. "The multi-year funding included with this framework will support the Nova Scotia child and family services framework and provide the appropriate working environment for staff to ensure First Nations children on reserve have access to culturally appropriate prevention and protection services that are integral to ensuring their well being."
This framework with the province and First Nations in Nova Scotia is an effective model for other provinces and First Nations agencies that may wish to discuss similar arrangements for an enhanced prevention-focused approach. It shares the vision of the Alberta Response Model. The tripartite agreement signed in Alberta last year helps to ensure First Nations families receive the support and services they need before they reach crisis.
For further information please contact:
Office of the Honourable Chuck Strahl
Province of Nova Scotia
Jacqueline Van Amburg, APR
Office of Aboriginal Affairs
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
Department of Community
Mi'kmaw Family and Children's Services of Nova Scotia
Chief Lawrence Paul