Obishikokaang Abinoojii Onakoniikewin Meekanah (Formerly Bill C-92)
"We will create a plan of care that is shared care."
-Chief Clifford Bull
An Act Respecting First Nations, Inuit and Metis Children, Youth and Families
On January 1, 2020, Bill C-92 became law, recognizing for the first time in Canadian History, that First Nations peoples have the inherent right to control their own child and family services.
This means that Lac Seul can create their own custom child welfare laws that reflect our practices of caring for children, and supporting families and youth.
A Vision for Shared Caring
Our people honoured our Creator through our sacred ceremonies. Our way of life and the way we were was in the language. Our Elders were the carriers of medicine, and always had medicine to share. We were oral people. We learned, and cared by listening, and watching. We shared our stories, or legends, and this is where the heart of who we are originates. This is who we are.
Our people were nomadic. We moved with the seasons and lived along the lakes and the rivers. Our families travelled together and everyone had a respected role and knew what it was. Kokums were the matriarchs of the family, and Shomis was respected, as all Elders were. Grandparents taught their own children how to be good mothers and fathers. Kokum set the way for child-rearing, often showing the parents how to take good care of the children. Children loved and respected their Elders. This is who we are.
Families worked together to provide for all the necessities of life, and families helped families. Needs were always taken care of because everyone took care of each other and shared. The land provided everything and the People hunted, fished, and grew and gathered food. We took only what we needed. We were the caretakers of the earth, water, air and creatures. This is who we are.
Women made clothing and learned the skills of our ancestors like beading and making moccasins, and the children learned by watching. Children had important roles too, and helped with gathering wood, and even helped with preparing the meat provided by men after a successful moose hunt, fanning flies away with branches. Children were included in all of our activities. And in this way, children were always cared for and supervised by all the adults in the community. We regarded the children as very special beings. This is who we are.
It is the goal of Chief and Council to support a child and family law that is community driven, and rooted in our language and culture. We believe that the band members have the potential to fulfill the mandate of the new law and we will be looking to our people to take on the necessary roles to ensure that our children and families are cared for in the best way, and according to who we are.
There is work to be done and we must work together to create the spaces, strategies and processes to reclaim our children, and roles and responsibilities as family and community because this is who we are.
We will bring together all of our services to create culturally healthy ways to care for our people. We will support the creation of new Councils: Elders; Women; and Youth. We will revive the ways of our restorative justice with Elders guiding us along the way. We will revive our practice of forming a circle to speak and listen about important matters affecting our children and families. We will keep our children with their families, because this is who we are.
~ LSFN Chief and Council
Lac Seul Exploring its Own Child Welfare Law
Lac Seul First Nation is held a series of engagement sessions for on-reserve and off-reserve band members regarding the creation of a Child Welfare Law for the community.
With the passing of Bill C-92 in 2020, it recognized the inherent right of First Nations people to control our own child and family services.
This means that Lac Seul can create its own custom child welfare laws that reflect our practices of caring for children and supporting families and youth.
“It is the goal of Chief and Council to support a child and family law that is community driven and rooted in our language and culture. We believe that the band members have the potential to fulfill the mandate of the new law and we will be looking to our people to take on the necessary roles to ensure that our children and families are cared for in the best way, and according to who we are,” Lac Seul First Nation Chief and Council said in a previous statement about initiative.
The second round of engagements were from February to April 2023 Surveys were collected from July 2023 to April 2023.
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