Prime minister heading to Saskatchewan First Nation for child-welfare agreement

·1 min read

COWESSESS FIRST NATION — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is heading to a Saskatchewan First Nation on Tuesday.

Chief Cadmus Delorme with the Cowessess First Nation, east of Regina, said the prime minister and Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe will attend a signing ceremony as part of a transfer of control over children in care to the community.

The First Nation is one of several Indigenous groups that have notified Indigenous Services Canada that they intend to handle their own child and family services as allowed under federal legislation.

Delorme said First Nation members decided in March 2020 that they want to assert their rights for their children and families in need of help.

"This responsibility is a part of the long-term goal of controlling our own plan to self-government based on our Inherent Rights and Treaty relationship," Delorme said in a statement on Twitter on Monday.

"The coordination agreement is a transition plan to assure the transfer of jurisdiction is professional and at the pace of Cowessess First Nation."

The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, which represents 74 Saskatchewan First Nations, announced last year that it wanted $360 million from Ottawa over five years to apply the legislation on reserves.

Trudeau's office confirmed he is to make an announcement at Cowessess, but did not provide details.

Cowessess is also the site of a former residential school where, last month, ground-penetrating radar detected a potential 751 unmarked graves.

In his Canada Day message, Trudeau said the horrific findings at former residential school sites have pressed Canadians to reflect on historical failures and ongoing injustices.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 5, 2021.

The Canadian Press

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting