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QUESTION PERIOD — Indigenous Services

Indigenous Child Welfare

February 29, 2024

Senator Gold, the government is to be commended for beginning to implement an historic Indigenous child welfare settlement providing compensation and urgent reform. Left out, however, are thousands of Inuit, Métis and off‑reserve and non-status First Nations children and families.

Two weeks ago, the Supreme Court of Canada confirmed both the importance of ending this crisis of state removals as a matter of reconciliation and that the federal government has full jurisdiction to address this issue.

Yesterday, I had the privilege and responsibility of meeting with Cheyenne Stonechild, a young woman directly impacted, who is leading the advocacy and legal claims for these youth. I promised to try to obtain answers to her questions.

In addition to tabling a more detailed written question today, I ask you to assist us in obtaining these answers as expeditiously as possible. May I count on your commitment to do so, Senator Gold?

Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate) [ - ]

Thank you for your question and for raising what is an important and ongoing issue.

Indeed, the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision was an historic one and it was an historic moment for Indigenous peoples in their relationship with Canada, as it is for all Canadians as we go forward together.

As colleagues know — or should know — the settlement did not affect all Indigenous children, Métis, Inuit and First Nations. That remains an issue still to be addressed. I certainly will bring this question to the attention of the minister. I will use my best efforts for that information to be fully available.

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