Social Services Director Adrienne Pelletier.

Union of Ontario Social Services Director Adrienne Pelletier.

By Marci Becking

The Algonquins of Pikwakanagan is the first community to approve a Band Council Resolution in support of the Anishinabek Nation Child Well-Being Law.

Adrienne Pelletier, Social Services Director at the Union of Ontario Indians says that this is a big step for our First Nations asserting inherent jurisdiction over child welfare.

“This is an historic moment for the Anishinabek Nation communities,” says Pelletier.  “As we stand in unity, we can accomplish so much more together. The Anishinabek Nation Child Well-Being Law will ensure a culturally relevant law and system to exercise our inherent jurisdiction to take care of our own children and youth, and support and repatriate our families.”

“Families have always looked after each other over time.  That was our way,” says legal counsel Tracey O’Donnell. “It was custom to look after each other’s children.  That is what inherent jurisdiction is all about. First Nations have inherent jurisdiction over child well-being – regardless of residence.”

The parallel Child Well-Being system is being set up. The Child Well-Being Law is about our children being safe as well as youth, family and communities being supported. It will promote the well-being of the child.