• The process is underway!
Apr 24, 2017

In January 2016, the provision of child and family services by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) was found to be discriminatory by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) due to inequitable and inadequate funding. In its decision, the CHRT ordered INAC to put an end to its discriminatory practices and consequently to fully reform the First Nations Child and Family Services (FNCFS) Program. This is why, in the fall of 2016, the Government of Canada launched a nationwide engagement process involving the First Nations communities and other key partners including the First Nations child and family services organizations and provincial governments. At the request of INAC’s regional office in Quebec and with the approval of the Chiefs of the AFNQL, the FNQLHSSC agreed to coordinate the consultation process for the Quebec region.

 

 

Consultation strategy adopted

 

The following methods were chosen to consult First Nations in Quebec between mid-March and May 2017.

 

Community consultations

At the Special Regional Round Table held on February 20-21, 2017, some communities expressed their desire to conduct consultations in preparation for the engagement sessions organized by the FNQLHSSC. During the months of March and April 2017, communities that wished to do so consulted with their populations. These preliminary consultations will generate a representative portrait of the communities’ vision for child and family services. They enabled more people to participate in the consultation process, including:

 

  • Workers and professionals who work with children and families (teachers, school workers, early childhood educators, social development personnel, health professionals, police officers, etc.).
  • User and extended families.
  • Youth and elders.

 

The FNQLHSSC developed an explanatory document as well as a discussion guide on the consultation process to support First Nations in their community consultations. Both documents were sent to the communities on March 15, 2017.

 

Engagement sessions

The FNQLHSSC also organized five sub-regional engagement sessions. The first three took place in Montréal, Val-d’Or and Sept-Îles. On May 2 and 3, the last two sessions will be held simultaneously in Québec City and Listuguj. These sessions are an opportunity for First Nations to discuss the main social issues they are faced with, to identify possible solutions and to define their vision with respect to the child and family services in the communities.

 

The communities were invited to participate in an engagement session among those proposed.

 

Online questionnaire for the population

In addition to the engagement sessions, a questionnaire was developed and posted online to enable more members of the First Nations in Quebec to express their views on the reform of the FNCFS Program and to participate in the engagement process. The questionnaire can be completed online on the FNQLHSSC website between April 10 and May 8.

 

 

The primary goal of the reform of the FNCFS Program is to provide First Nations children and families with quality and culturally appropriate services that are effective in meeting their needs. The information gathered during the consultations will be formulated as recommendations that will be contained in the regional final reports. These recommendations will guide INAC in the reform of the FNCFS Program. The FNQLHSSC will draft the report for the Quebec region. Once approved by the First Nations Child and Family Services Regional Round Table and the Chiefs of the AFNQL, the regional final report will be submitted to the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of INAC on June 30, 2017.