Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

August 26, 2009 11:51 ET

Economic Action Plan: Canada, PEI and Mi'kmaq Confederacy of Prince Edward Island Reach Child Welfare Framework

SUMMERSIDE, PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND--(Marketwire - Aug. 26, 2009) - Representatives of the Government of Canada, the province of Prince Edward Island and the Mi'kmaq Confederacy of Prince Edward Island (MCPEI), today announced a historic framework for First Nations Child and Family Services in Prince Edward Island.

The event was attended by the Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and Member of Parliament for Egmont, on behalf of the Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Metis and Non-Status Indians, together with the Honourable Doug Currie, Minister of Social Services and Seniors for Prince Edward Island, and Chief Brian Francis of the Abegweit First Nation and Co-Chair off the Mi'kmaq Confederacy of Prince Edward Island (MCPEI).

"Today's announcement demonstrates the positive and growing working relationship we have with PEI," said Minister Shea. "Children represent the future of First Nations communities in PEI -- and today's announcement demonstrates our shared commitment to improving conditions for First Nations children and youth. With this announcement, half the provinces have now reached historic tripartite frameworks for Child and Family Services with our government."

The Framework with PEI and First Nations in PEI will provide $1.7 million over five years to implement an Enhanced Prevention-Focused Approach to First Nations Child and Family Services (FNCFS) on reserves in PEI.

"This agreement represents our commitment to work together to protect children and support families in a more culturally-appropriate way, with a greater focus on prevention," said Minister Currie. "By better coordinating the child and family services that are available on-reserve, First Nations families will receive ongoing support before they reach a crisis."

The announcement of the tripartite framework in this province, following tripartite frameworks in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, and yesterday in Quebec, means that the new prevention model is now being implemented in First Nations communities in five provinces, covering nearly half of First Nations children.

"Over the past two years, the staff of MCPEI PRIDE Program through Director Marilyn Lefrank worked tirelessly to help develop a program to provide support and outreach services to families and children in our communities," said Chief Brian Francis. "Today's announcement is the culmination of those efforts. Securing a long term funding framework will allow us to continue to foster strong, healthy children and families."

In 2007, INAC renovated its approach to Child and Family Services by introducing an Enhanced Prevention-Focused Approach that will ensure that more First Nations children and parents get the help they need to prevent the types of crises that lead to intervention and family breakdown.

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada provides funds for the implementation of the New Enhanced Prevention-Focused Approach to First Nations Child and Family Services.

"Today's announcement demonstrates the fact that First Nations are participating in Canada's Economic Action Plan," said Minister Strahl. Under Canada's Economic Action Plan (http://actionplan.gc.ca/eng/index.asp) $20 million over two years was provided to implement concrete changes in Child and Family Services on reserves.

Backgrounder - First Nations Child and Family Services (National) (http://www.ainc-inac.gc.ca/ai/mr/nr/m-a2009/bk000000439-eng.asp)

Contact Information

  • Minister's Office
    Office of the Honourable Chuck Strahl
    819-997-0002
    or
    Media Relations
    Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
    819-953-1160
    or
    PEI Communications
    Stefanie Arduini
    Prince Edward Island Department of Social
    Services and Seniors
    902-620-3409
    or
    Mi'kmaq Confederacy of Prince Edward Island (MCPEI)
    Dennis King
    Director of Communications
    902-888-5967