MINISTER OF ABORIGINAL AND NORTHERN
MINISTER RESPONSIBLE FOR
COMMUNITIES ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT FUND
Winnipeg, Manitoba, CANADA
A MESSAGE FROM ERIC ROBINSON,
MINISTER OF ABORIGINAL AND NORTHERN AFFAIRS
The Aboriginal Justice Inquiry was a watershed event
in the history of this Province. There may be no published work
more important to the future of Aboriginal people in Manitoba than
the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry Report.
For too many years the Report
and its recommendations were not addressed. My government has made
a commitment to address the recommendations from this report and
has given the child welfare recommendations the highest priority.
This is a decision of great significance.
Your leaders have shown their
good will and faith in this process by signing the Memoranda of
Understanding and the Protocol Agreement. It is these documents
that have given life to the elimination process and the working
groups in which you now participate. Your participation is essential
to the success of this initiative.
I have faith in this process.
If we are to be successful, however, we must be prepared to work
together in collaboration. Only by working in partnership can we
produce a plan that truly establishes the right of First Nations
and Metis people to control and deliver their own services, and
is sensitive to the needs of all Manitoba families.
While First Nations and Metis
people must not forget their history, it is time to set aside the
animosity and distrust of the old system in the interests of pursuing
a common path. A common path will lead us into a new future where
the child and family services system inspires hope, not despair
and where Aboriginal people are truly empowered to care for their
own children. We must strive for a system that no longer takes children
from their neighbourhoods, but supports communities to develop a
capacity to care for their own members.
There may be no better way
to begin the healing process and to walk in partnership down the
path toward the future than by building this new system together.
This is the task that lies before you.
of Manitoba Chiefs - Grand Chief Dennis White Bird
Metis Federation - President David Chartrand
Keewatinowi Okimakanak - Chief Francis Flett
of Northern Affairs - The Honourable Eric Robinson
of Family Services and Housing -The Honourable Tim Sale