The Cowessess First Nation is set to pass its own legislation to take full control over child welfare.
Its estimated that approximately 165 Cowessess children are in protection in several western provinces.
The First Nation is modeling its legislation “Miyo Pimatsowin” which in Cree translates to “living a good life” on recently passed federal legislation Bill C-92.
“This is our responsibility,” Chief Cadmus Delrome said. “Our children and our children yet unborn rely on us.”
Under the jurisdiction of child welfare, Cowessess will investigate and assess a complaint, using what Delrome said are qualified community members.
He said if apprehension does occur, the goal is to ensure the child is in a safe atmosphere, while working with the family to promote reunification and prevention supports.
“We will be the ones to give direction on the case. We will be the ones to help with the culture plan, with the development plan,” Delrome said.
The First Nation plans to ratify its legislation by March and be completely operational by July.
Delrome explained that the First Nation is in negotiations with a tripartite government collaboration agreement.
Cowessess is trying to ensure a smooth transition for children in care.