The purpose of this briefing is to provide an overview of Canada’s Bill C-92 Process, including the Coordination Agreement Co-development Table (CA-CT) and the MINO’ OMBIGII’AA ONAKONEKAWIN – Law of the Children, Families and Nation
Law Development of Mino Ombigii’aa Onakonekawin
- On November 18, 2021, FNT2T Governing Council ratified the CFN Mino Ombigii’aa Onankonehkawinan Resolution # 2021-11-18-006.
T2T is reclaiming and revitalizing our sacred authority to govern ourselves. An important feature of the governance is to “bring our children home and keep our families together.” The inherent right over child welfare jurisdiction is contained in the original spirit and intent of the treaty. The inherent right of jurisdiction over child welfare was recognized and affirmed in s. 35 (1) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms as an existing First Nation right.
We have 7500 youth under 18 in the Treaty two territory.
- According to provincial data, as of April 2021, it was reported that children under the Manitoba Child and Family Services system was 11,000. The CFN circle pointed out that there are questions of underreporting and that it is critical that provincial data be shared and updated on an on-going basis. CFN circle’s direct engagement with Local Nations estimated that there are approximately 1500 T2T children in the provincial CFS system.
Overview of Canada’s Bill C-92
- On June 21, 2019, Canada passed An Act Respecting First Nations, Inuit & Metis Children and Families. The legislation provides Indigenous communities with a mechanism to exercise their inherent jurisdiction over the care of their own children and families in accordance with their own traditional laws and values.
- A coordination agreement between Canada and Manitoba addresses to exercise jurisdiction in relation to child and family services as well as the application and coordination of laws of Indigenous groups, communities or peoples.
- The coordination agreement is in the process of confirmation with Canada and Manitoba and will provide the basis to implement the Mino Ombigii’aa Law.
- The fiscal arrangement under the Coordination Agreement must be “sustainable, needs-based and consistent with the principle of substantive equality”. S. 20(2)(c) brings in language similar to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings. Substantive equality takes into account “equality and non-discrimination being central to the Charter and Human Rights Act. Essentially, it is the recognition that not all people start off from the same position, and that unequal opportunities make it more difficult for some to be successful.
There is no guarantee for any set amount of funding in the legislation.
To date, there is one publicly known fiscal precedent, announced in Cowesess First Nation. This nation will receive $38.75 million over the next two years to support the implementation of their CFS systems. It is unknown what has been offered as a funding model, how these funds are calculated, sources of funding or whether the province of Saskatchewan contributes.
- An issue to be resolved is that the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) may be pursuing a Memorandum of Understanding with Canada for fiscal negotiations which may impact T2 fiscal negotiations moving forward. This may require confirmation and an update from Regional Chief Cindy Mckay, AFN Executive Chair for CFS.
Federal legislation in force using the C-92 process:
- Once the federal legislation came into force January 1/2020, national standards apply for all of the provinces.
- On March 23, 2020, FNT2T Anishinaabek Nation provided notice of intent to exercise legislative authority to Canada to develop Mino-Ombigii’aa Onakonekawin. According to the process, the nation has one year from that date to enter into a Coordination Agreement or must demonstrate that “reasonable efforts” were given to engage with Canada and Manitoba. Since March 23, 2021, the Nation extended its one-year deadline to June 21, 2021.
- The Mino Ombigii’aa law once all of the steps are completed, will have the force and effect of federal law.
- The Mino Ombigii’aa law takes precedence over Provincial law
- could displace all or some
- both can apply, but in a conflict or inconsistency, the Mino-Ombigii’aa Law prevails
- The Mino Ombigii’aa law takes precedence over most federal law, with exceptions: eg. “Charter of Rights and Freedoms and Canadian Human Rights Act”
Coordination Agreement Co-Development Table (CA-CDT)
- On July 16, 2021, The Nation received a letter from James Sutherland, Director General, of Operationalization, Child and Family Services Reform. The letter indicated that the Coordination Agreement Table required a pause and that to resume the Coordination Agreement Table, Indigenous Services Canada required authorization from local nations appointing First Nations in Treaty 2 Territory as the Indigenous Governing Body (IGB) under Section 20 of the Act.
T2 response to section 20 – Authorization for IGB
Local Nations IGB
Date submitted to Canada
|1. Kakakwekejeong (Ebb & Flow)|
|2. Kithithkatchewanang (Dauphin River)|
|3. Attagewiniing (Gambler)
|5. Animozeebeeng (Lake Manitoba)
|6. Obushkudayang (Lake St. Martin)
|7. Kaakiiskakamigaag (Little Saskatchewan)|
Manitoba’s involvement at the CA-CDT
- Prior to Canada’s decision to pause these discussions Manitoba was participating mainly as an observer and suggested interest in participating in the process.
- The confidential Agreement was revised and was submitted to the Province of Manitoba on March 31, 2022.
Relations within Mino Ombigii’aa Onakonekawin
Anishinaabe legal traditions and values will continue to guide and promote the jurisdictional and reciprocal responsibilities between T2 and the CFS agencies to protect our Abinoonjiiwag.
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Last modified: April 11, 2022