In October, the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies formally apologized all Indigenous children, families and communities who were impacted by the Sixties Scoop, and continue to be negatively impacted by the child welfare system in Ontario.
The OACAS presented nine key commitments the child welfare sector have unanimously agreed upon in order to move forward with Reconciliation:
• Reduce the number of Indigenous children in care.
• Reduce the number of legal files involving Indigenous children and families.
• Increase the use of formal customary care agreements.
• Ensure Indigenous representation and involvement at the local Board of Directors.
• Implement mandatory Indigenous training for staff.
• Change the inter-agency protocol to include Jordan’s Principle as a fundamental principle
• In consultation with Indigenous communities, develop a unique agency-based plan to better address the needs of the children and families from those communities.
• Continue to develop relationships between their local agency and the local Indigenous communities.
• Assist those individuals wanting to see their historical files by accessing and providing the information they request.
Each CAS’s journey towards Reconciliation with its local Indigenous communities will reflect the unique local histories and current realities. The training we have started is our first step. Many more things need to be done. This will be a long-term process.
We commit to learning and listening as we walk alongside indigenous peoples on a new path. It will take time and we have much to do, but we will get there together.
Thank you for your support.