The Lac La Ronge Indian Band is celebrating Friday’s Supreme Court of Canada’s decision to reaffirm federal legislation regarding Indigenous child welfare and family services.

The High Court ruled unanimously that the Act Respecting First Nations, Metis and Inuit Children Youth and Families by Ottawa was constitutional.

“For far too long, our community has experienced the detrimental impacts of policies that have fragmented our families and attempted to erase our cultural identity. Generations of our people have suffered under government actions that dismantled our families and threatened our way of life. This landmark decision challenges this dark past and offers a path forward for our people to heal and govern ourselves according to our own laws,” said Chief Tammy Cook-Searson of Lac La Ronge Indian Band.

The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations intervened in the case, with Chief Bobby Cameron, Friday asserting the decision reinforced provincial overreach.

“This is not just a legal win. We see this decision as a catalyst for change, where the rights and welfare of our children will be actively protected by our own laws. Moving forward, we will be able to look after our children in ways that reflect our deeply rooted values and tradition, and ensure that they grow up with a strong sense of identity, belonging and pride,” Cook-Searson said.