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BC talks changes after indigenous child welfare report but some say it contains nothing new

In the wake of an extensive report on the state of BC’s indigenous child welfare system, the provincial government has promised big changes.

Minister of Children and Families Stephanie Cadieux worked with Grand Chief Edward John to make 85 recommendations to improve the way the province interacts with indigenous children and families.

“Many of the recommendations we’ve already been saying ad nauseum,” said Executive Director of Child and Family Service for the Carrier Sekani Mary Teegee. “For me, I’m glad they’ve decided to listen to this report but, like I said, we’ve been saying this for a long time.”

Teegee says more funding for programs and services offered by indigenous groups and communities would have a bigger, positive impact on the welfare of indigenous families, but she’s also skeptical.

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“I don’t know if I would even extend that much energy to say I’m hopeful. Given the state of indigenous child and family services in the province over the last decade, it has actually eroded. There is definitely an issue of inequity in services and funding that goes to first nations agencies and communities.

Teegee added funding will be the key to effectively implement the recommendations.

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