Aboriginal Justice Inquiry Child Welfare Initiative
Link to Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs Link to Manitoba Metis Federation Link to Manitoba Keewatinow Okimakinak Link to Province of Manitoba

Aboriginal Justice Inquiry -
Child Welfare Initiative

Promise of Hope:Commitment to Change
An Overview

Child and Family Services in Manitoba

August 2001


The Aboriginal Justice Inquiry - Child Welfare Initiative has a plan to improve the child and family services system in Manitoba.

The plan was developed together by:

  • Manitoba Metis Federation;
  • Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs;
  • Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak; and
  • Province of Manitoba.

The biggest changes will be to expand and extend services of First Nations child and family services agencies to all off-reserve areas in the province, as well as to create Metis child and family services agencies/offices province-wide.

Each child and family services agency/office will be accountable to one of four new province-wide Child and Family Services Authorities:

  • A First Nations of Northern Manitoba Child and Family Services Authority;
  • A First Nations of Southern Manitoba Child and Family Services Authority;
  • A Metis Child and Family Services Authority; and
  • A General Child and Family Services Authority (for all other families).

All Manitobans will benefit from this new approach which respects the value of culturally appropriate services.


Protecting children and supporting families is one of the most important responsibilities of society. Meeting this responsibility is extremely difficult. We plan to make changes so that services can better meet your needs.

It is widely recognized that Aboriginal peoples in Manitoba have not been well served by the mainstream child and family services system.

The proposed changes are based on recommendations made in the 1991 Report of the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry.

Vision Statement

A child and family service system that recognizes and supports the rights of children to develop within safe and healthy families and communities, and recognizes that First Nations and Metis peoples have unique authority, rights and responsibilities to honour and care for their children.

Mission Statement

To have a jointly coordinated child and family services system that recognizes the distinct rights and authorities of First Nations and Metis peoples and the general population to control and deliver their own child and family services province-wide; that is community-based; and reflects and incorporates the cultures of First Nations, Metis and the general population respectively.


  • To protect children and ensure their well-being;

  • To build family capacity, based on the belief that children are best protected in their families;

  • To build community capacity, based on the belief that healthy communities will support families and maintain safe and healthy environments for children;

  • To provide services that support families at risk and that seek to work with families in protecting children;

  • To take a holistic approach toward child protection;

  • To establish a service delivery system that is more supportive in its approach;

  • To provide services that are responsive to unique community needs;

  • To develop and deliver services from a community based perspective;

  • To provide culturally appropriate services;

  • To establish services that strive to provide for parity of access to

    services regardless of residence, to the greatest extent possible;

  • To develop the service system based on best practices; and

  • To focus on the strengths of families and communities.


Aboriginal Families

The new system will mean that Aboriginal children and families, no matter where they live in the province, will receive child and family services from Aboriginal agencies. These agencies will be supported by one of the three new Aboriginal Child and Family Services Authorities.

The services delivered by the Aboriginal agencies and Authorities will be culturally appropriate and based on an understanding of Aboriginal families and communities.

Non-Aboriginal Families

Child and family services for non-Aboriginal families will continue to be delivered throughout Manitoba using a variety of service delivery structures.

All Families

Services will strive to keep children within their families and their communities. As well, greater emphasis will be placed on delivering a more holistic range of services, with a greater focus on preventive programming.

Children in Care

Under the new system, children currently in care will be transferred to the appropriate Authority. Aboriginal children and youth will be able to receive services from an Aboriginal agency. Other children and youth will continue to be served by an existing agency. The Office of the Children's Advocate will continue to help all children and youth to be heard.

Foster Parents

Foster parents will continue to be essential to the new system. While changes will happen, foster parents will be able to help plan for the children in their homes. They will also participate in discussions regarding who will be the licensing agency for their home.


Please give us your feedback. Help us make a Child and Family Services system to meet the needs of children, families and communities.

Come to a Town Hall Meeting

Town hall meetings will be held in September 2001 in the following communities:

Brandon Churchill Cross Lake
Fairford Garden Hill Portage La Prairie
Sagkeeng St. Boniface Swan River
The Pas/OCN Thompson Winnipeg
Watch for dates and times to be advertised, or call 945-1183, outside Winnipeg 1-866-300-7503.

Send in your ideas

Write us at:   Email us at:
c/o 216 - 114 Garry Street
Winnipeg, MB R3C 4V4

All written submissions and emails are to be received by September 30, 2001.

Want More Information?

Obtain a detailed public document by:

Visiting the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry - Child Welfare Initiative Web Site at http://www.aji-cwi.mb.ca

Calling one of the numbers listed below:

Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs
Trudy Lavallee
(204) 956-0610

Manitoba Metis Federation
Cynthia Kolada
(204) 586-8474

Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak
Winnipeg Sub-Office
Colin Kinsella OR Inez Vystrcil
(204) 927-7500

Province of Manitoba
Family Services and Housing
Patrick Falconer
(204) 945-6731

Central Information Line:  
In Winnipeg call: 945-1183 Outside Winnipeg: 1-866-300-7503



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