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Wikwemikong Creates Native CAS
April 3, 2015 permalink
Wikwemikong establishes child protection agency
Wikwemikong First Nation child protection agency writes its own Children’s Bill of Rights
Wikwemikong is the latest First Nation community in northern Ontario to certify its own child protection agency. The Manitoulin Island-based agency joins six other aboriginal children's protective agencies in the region.
The children's advocate for Ontario said Wikwemikong is well qualified to keep its children safe and rooted in its culture.
Irwin Elman visited Wikwemikong recently and said he was impressed.
"I certainly heard the need for a community based child welfare system and service in that community and I welcome it."
Elman said the Ministry of Children's and Youth Services encourages First Nations to form their own children's protective agencies. He said it helps children maintain their culture and family ties, but it is a rigorous process to form the agency.
"They are able to adopt practices, cultural practices, that are appropriate for the community," said Elman. "But there's not a lessening of standards in terms of how much protection a child needs or the amount of care and nurturing they get."
Elman said the Wikwemikong agency will succeed because it has a strong sense of community. He said the agency has written its own Children's Bill of Rights.
"I think under Chief Peltier's leadership there and his council, I think that's a remarkable achievement."