The Trudeau government will announce Friday that it is moving forward on child welfare legislation that aims to give First Nation, Metis and Inuit more control over the care of their children, a federal official told APTN News.
While most of the work is complete, final details still need to be ironed out. A federal official told APTN the new legislation will be tabled early next year, which is being co-developed with Indigenous groups.
The Trudeau government also isn’t ruling out having it completed before the next election in October 2019 based on the depth of discussions that have happened already, including with parliamentarians and senators.
Meetings with Indigenous groups ramped up this year, particularly following a meeting of chiefs in Gatineau, Que. in May.
It was at that Assembly of First Nations (AFN) meeting that chiefs passed a resolution calling for their own legislation to be passed to give nations control of child welfare. But meetings have also happened with Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK) and the Métis National Council (MNC).
AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde, ITK President Natan Obed and MNC President Clément Chartier will join Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott at Friday’s announcement in Ottawa at 9 a.m. in the foyer of the House of Commons.
The next steps of the legislation will be made public then, but APTN has been told the goal is to give power back to First Nation, Metis and Inuit in the hopes of lowering the number of Indigenous children in care.
That includes working with provinces and territories, as the new law is supposed to create space for the Indigenous customs and laws across Canada.
Indigenous Services is also planning to announce a new website Friday that will detail the work that has happened to date on the new legislation.