The federal government is investing a little over $56 million in Saskatoon Tribal Council social service agencies.

The announcement was made this morning in Saskatoon by Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott.

A total of $50 million over five years will go toward STC’s child and family services agency.

It will be targeted toward helping Indigenous families at risk access the services they need.

The remaining funding will be provided over three years for a mature health services transformation pilot project.

All related programming will be delivered by STC.

Philpott says too often in the past government funding for Indigenous child and family services has been targeted to the wrong areas.

“Unfortunately the system that has evolved over a very long time now has been focused on the apprehension of children and has not been focused on the rights of those children, the rights of those families in communities,” she says. “And money has flowed according to how children are apprehended.”

STC Chief Marc Arcand says this new program funding in child and family services will be aimed at helping families continue to deal with the long term effects of the residential school system.

“It’s going to be used to change the systemic harms that have been done to First Nations people through residential schools through the inter-generational trauma,” he says.

The community well-being and jurisdiction initiative is a new funding stream provided by Indigenous Services Canada.

The funding is intended to help Indigenous families stay together in their communities and allow First Nations to have jurisdiction over child and family services.

In the 2018 budget, the federal government announced $1.4 billion for child and family services agencies across Canada.

The $6.2 million STC is receiving for a mature health services transformation pilot project is part of $68 million in federal funding recently announced for First Nations-led health transformation.

(PHOTO: Saskatoon Tribal Council Chief Marc Arcand (left) and Minister of Indigenous Services Jane Philpott. Photo by Dan Jones.)