There are currently five language groups of people that are indigenous to Manitoba:
Cree, Dene, Oji-Cree, Ojibway and Dakota
First Nation people have faced a difficult journey throughout North America. Many families have been adversely affected by years of colonization. The responsibility to correct this situation is upon all Canadian people, however, it is the Child welfare system that is expected to fix this on behalf of Canadian society.
There have been many studies over the years to try to correct the Child Welfare system that existed in Manitoba. Two of these studies are listed below:
- The Kimmelman Report, No Quiet Place (Review on Indian and Métis Adoptions and Placements) (1985)
Study identified issues regarding the loss of First Nation children during the 1960's
- Report of the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry (AJI) (1991)
Many recommendations were made regarding the justice system and the Child Welfare system.
Aboriginal Justice Inquiry-Child Welfare Initiative (AJI-CWI)
The Aboriginal Justice Inquiry-Child Welfare Initiative (AJI-CWI) was a joint initiative of the Manitoba Métis Federation, Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, Manitoba Keewatinow Okimakanak and the Province of Manitoba to restructure the Child and Family Services system in Manitoba.
- Province signs individual MOUs with First Nations and Métis political organizations
- All parties sign joint protocol agreement
- Agreements establish common planning and implementation process called Aboriginal Justice Inquiry - Child Welfare Initiative (AJI-CWI)
- Aboriginal parties are the majority at all AJI-CWI planning tables
- AJI-CWI priority setting & decision making based on consensus model
A new approach to governing the delivery of Child and Family Services in Manitoba was established.
- On June 10, 2002, legislation to create the new Authorities and structure was introduced in the legislative assembly
- Royal assent was received on August 9, 2002
- The Child & Family Services Authorities Act was proclaimed November 24, 2003
- The legislation was an important first step toward the restructured Child & Family Service System