Re: Manitoba Government to Revamp CFS Funding Model
ANISHINAABE & DAKOTA TERRITORY, MB – In response to the announcement by the Province of Manitoba Minister Stefanson, Grand Chief Daniels of the Southern Chiefs’ Organization states that given the current political and public dialogue on Reconciliation, that the surprise announcement by the provincial government that they plan a major overhaul in their funding model for Child and Family Services Agencies is diverging from principles of cooperation and trust between the provincial government and First Nations. “It has been our belief that the critical pathway forward should be one that includes the Leadership Council established through provincial legislation; the role of the council being to provide a forum to discuss issues related to child and family services. Block funding is absolutely something which we as First Nations have noted as promising, however, it is disconcerting that there has been no progressive discussion to this announcement. We have yet to see what the numbers are, and how the province has decided to fund this overhaul.”
In light of the recent notice of application against the province which was filed in 2018 to Manitoba’s Court of Queen’s Bench on behalf of 6 Indigenous child and family services agencies in Manitoba, it is a surprise that this announcement would be made now. “It is not in alignment with the understanding of partnership and collaboration on First Nations interests, particularly when it comes to First Nations families and children. We have supported our agencies in their quest for restitution and justice for the children who have been made an industry for the province,” said Grand Chief Daniels. Since 2006, the provincial government has held back $250M+ which was designated for children in care, and has moved it into their government general revenue.
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