Meet the Kenora Catholic Family and Register for school today at MyKenoraCatholic.ca

Click here to register.

The Association of Native Child and Family Service Agencies of Ontario is agreeing with the release of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal’s fifth legal order. It recognizes that Indigenous Child and Family Service Agencies in Ontario have been chronically underfunded. The tribunal says they view the underfunding as discriminatory.

Ontario Indigenous Child Well-Being Agencies are funded by the Province of Ontario through the 1965 Welfare Agreement. It allows the province to be reimbursed 93 cents on the dollar by the Department of Indigenous Services Canada. Under the last order, Ontario Indigenous Agencies did not receive any direct funding. The 1965 Welfare Agreement is now under review by both the Chiefs of Ontario and the Ministry of Children and Youth Services.

The Association of Native Child and Family Service Agencies of Ontario conducted its own funding review, and they found that agencies in Ontario are underfunded under the current funding formula. They say they support a more preventative, family preservation approach, when it comes to child welfare. They also say they want child welfare to be rooted in cultural healing practices.

“In Ontario, we use socio-economic factors and volume factors to determine funding. The assumption was socio-economic factors would determine funding. In actuality, it’s volume that’s been driving the funding for our agencies, which is kind of lopsided. We need to look at that and come up with a separate funding model for Indigenous agencies,” said the association’s executive director, Theresa Stevens, who led Anishinaabe Abinooji Child Services for 13 years.

The association notes that roughly 80 per cent of Indigenous children in care are special needs or complex-needs children. They hope that extra funding from the province would allow child care agencies to meet mental health and treatment needs of the children, while keeping them at home with their families in their own communities.

“The majority of reviews show that the majority of our children have been addressed as high-needs. We’re using our funding for primarily boarding, to meet the needs of the children in care. We’re having to pay high rates for specialized placements. If we’re able to offset some of that to build the resources closer to home, we won’t have to be spending high amounts of resources and sending our children away to treatment resouces. We want them closer to home. That will also save additional dollars for programs for our children,” Stevens said.

Last week, Grand Council Treaty 3 Ogichidaa Francis Kavanaugh travelled to Ottawa to take part in the National Emergency Child Welfare summit called by the federal government. Kavanaugh says that he was impressed by what he heard, but noted that he was ‘cautiously optimistic’ about the implementation of the Department of Indigenous Services’ six-point plan.

The six-point plan includes:

  •  Continuing the work to fully implement all orders from the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal;

  •  Shifting the programming focus to prevention and early intervention;

  •  Exploring the potential for co-developed federal child welfare legislation;

  •  Supporting Inuit and Métis leadership to advance culturally-appropriate reform;

  •  Developing a data and reporting strategy with provinces, territories and Indigenous partners; and,

  • Accelerating the work of trilateral technical tables that are in place across the country.

“This is only going to be successful if our agencies receive the resources that they need. If the plan assists in that regard, we’ll be well on our way. If it’s difficult to access the resources that we need, or take too long to get us the resources that we need, it’s going to make it difficult,” Stevens added, speaking of the government’s six-point plan.

Stevens points to the most recent initiative by the First Nations Caring Society, that’s been endorsed by the Assembly of First Nations and the Chiefs of Ontario, the Spirit Bear Plan – as a solid guideline on how to move forward with addressing the child welfare crisis.

“We’re not just looking at the crisis in child welfare and the lack of funding in child welfare. We have to look at the reasons for the high number of children in care. We know that it’s poverty, housing, substance abuse, lack of mental health resources. Those are the areas that we need to focus on if we’re going to see any change,” she said.

In September 2017, a relationship agreement was signed by Kavanaugh and Minister of Children and Youth Services Michael Coteau, which aimed to strengthen the relationship between the two parties – in regards to allowing Treaty 3 to transform the system of services for youth to better meet their needs. 

Kavanaugh noted that he hopes to see Treaty 3 have full-jurisdiction over child welfare in the area within five years. 

For more information:
Reasserting Treaty #3’s jurisdiction
Grand Chief ‘guardedly optimistic’  

Meet the Kenora Catholic Family and Register for school today at MyKenoraCatholic.ca

Click here to register.

More Local News

Winter Festival wraps up

Dryden's Winter Festival wraps up today. The four-day carnival began Friday with a breakfast at the Kiwanis Club House and line dancing. The Canadian Armed Forces and Scouts have been out over the…

Time for sculptors in Kenora

Blocks of snow on Kenora's greenbelt are taking shape. Kelley Morrell talks about the design for the sculpture he's working on. He describes popular vessels you would see in summer on Lake of the…

Sledheads take over

It's almost history in motion. Tyson Bennett of LacLu talks about racing his vintage 1970 Skiroule on race day at the Lake of the Woods Speedway. Tyson Bennett checks out his 1970 Skiroule, before…

Anglers fill Portage Bay

It's been good weather for getting out on the ice. Michelle Bouchard helped organize the event for St. Louis School in Keewatin yesterday, and she was very pleased with the turnout and the weather.…

Burley offers tips for anglers

Aside from the wind, there are good conditions for getting out and dropping a line. Joshua Burley from Lake of the Woods Sports headquarters talks about conditions. "On Lake of the Woods, half a…

Indian Horse trailer out

A trailer for the long-awaited movie Indian Horse is out. Written by the late Richard Wagamese of Wabaseemoong, it tells the story of a residential school student who finds an escape through hockey.…

Great weather for snowmobilers

It's prime time for sled riders! Trails in the district are listed as available, with the exception of the link between Kenora and Caribou Falls. There's also a gap in the trail to Sioux Narrows.…

Brown bids for Tory leadership

The incredible race for the Ontario Tory leadership just got even more interesting. Earlier today, party president Jag Badwal confirmed former leader Patrick Brown has filed paperwork to retake his…

Free fishing weekend

It's free fishing weekend. Canadian residents can fish in Ontario without a licence until Monday night. Anglers are restricted to conservation limits. The promotion coincides with Dryden's Winter…

Rotarians celebrate in Kenora

Rotarians in Kenora are getting ready for World Rotary Day. Lynn Carlson is the service club's president. "It recognizes the work Rotarians do around the world," she said. "Not only do we do…

Tories nominate Clifford Bull

Lac Seul Chief Clifford Bull says the northwest has been ignored by Queen's Park for too long. He's the candidate for the Progressive Conservatives in the new riding of Kiiwetinoong. "Obviously, I'm…

New signage for downtown Kenora

Kenora drivers and pedestrians will be seeing new signage downtown. Matt Boscariol from the City of Kenora talks about the new look they're working on. "It's a component of Second Street Downtown…

Teachers enlightened by Domtar visit

Jamie Cran teaches skills development at Dryden High School, and he was excited after his students had a recent outing with Domtar. "Some of them had their first time operating a chainsaw, first time…

Winter festival ready

The City of Dryden is kicking off their ninth annual Winter Festival today. Nicole Gale, Manager of Tourism and Community Initiatives for the City of Dryden, spoke about a few of the events taking…

Cooking at King George

Students in Kenora’s King George VI School had a special lunch yesterday, as they joined the Week of Action Against Poverty to make stone soup, and to show how we can all contribute to help feed…

SMB students give back

Kindergarten students in Kenora’s École Ste Marguerite Bourgeoys School were able to give back and help those in need. To cap off a week of learning about poverty, in connection with the Week of…

Creating active, healthy experiences

Staff with Kenora's Recreation Centre are hoping to create more positive experiences for youth. Two staff members at the Rec Centre – Casey Pyykka, Community Liaison Coordinator, and Crystal Stokes,…

Sexual assault charges laid

A Kenora resident is facing sexual assault charges. On February 6, 2018, members of the Kenora Detachment of the OPP and Kenora Community Street Crime Unit received a report of a sexual assault in…

The dangers of cannabis

The Northwestern Health Unit is hoping to educate the public on the risks of cannabis use, ahead of the expected legalization later this year. Bill C – 45, The Cannabis Act – the act set to legalize…

Illegal hunting near Dryden

A Woodbridge area man has been fined after illegal hunting activity near Dryden. On October 18, 2016, conservation officers with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry responded to a tip from…

KenoraOnline.com is Kenora's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Search the Biz Guide

Upcoming Events

Family Day at the Kenora Rec Centre

19 February 2018 6:00 am - 3:00 pm

Kenora Recreation Centre, Kenora





Wild Woods - Arts Hub / Rhizone

20 February 2018 1:30 pm

Arts Hub, Kenora





Mastering Diabetes Management Class

20 February 2018 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

The Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy





Family Day at the Kenora Rec Centre

19 February 2018 6:00 am - 3:00 pm

Kenora Recreation Centre, Kenora





Wild Woods - Arts Hub / Rhizone

20 February 2018 1:30 pm

Arts Hub, Kenora





Mastering Diabetes Management Class

20 February 2018 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

The Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy





Al-Anon Family Group

20 February 2018 7:30 pm

St. Andrews United Church,, Kenora





4th Annual Mino-Bimaatiziwin Conference

21 February 2018 8:30 am - 4:30 pm

Seven Generations Education Institute, Kenora





Login