The federal government is praising the province for ending the controversial birth alerts program.

On Feb 1, The Ministry of Social Services stopped the alerts.

“Our decision aligns with recommendations from the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) Inquiry, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action and the federal Indigenous child welfare legislation. It also recognizes concerns raised by various Indigenous partners and community stakeholders across Saskatchewan,” said a Ministry spokesperson.

Federal Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller described birth alerts as discriminatory.

“These practices were having demonstrated to be discriminatory, racist, in many circumstances towards indigenous peoples, and were part and parcel of ripping indigenous children away from their families,” Miller said Thursday.

Previously, health care and social workers who previously had concern about the safety of the child or expectant mother were able to register an alert without the consent of the parent. The alert allowed the Ministry of Social Services to apprehend the baby.

“These are painful iterations of a greater problem, which is how Indigenous Peoples have been treated by Child and Family Services and by the health care system. There’s a nexus there that shouldn’t escape anyone,” Miller stated.

Last year, the province saw 76 birth alerts, involving 53 Indigenous women.