ALIGN BLOG – Understanding C-92: Empowering Indigenous Communities in Alberta April 15, 2024

Understanding C-92: Empowering Indigenous Communities in Alberta

In 2019, a monumental piece of legislation was passed in Canada, setting a new course for the welfare of Indigenous children and families. The Act under Bill C-92, officially known as the Act Respecting First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Children, marks a crucial step towards Reconciliation and empowerment for Indigenous communities across the country, including here in Alberta. As non-Indigenous community organizations, it’s essential for us to understand the significance of this act and how we can support its implementation.

The Act under Bill C-92 addresses a longstanding issue in Canada: the overrepresentation of Indigenous children in the child welfare system. For far too long, Indigenous communities have experienced disproportionate removals of their children from their homes and cultural environments. This legislation aims to change that narrative by empowering Indigenous communities to regain jurisdiction over child welfare services.

One of the fundamental principles of the Act is the recognition of Indigenous rights to self-determination. This means that Indigenous communities have the inherent jurisdiction over child welfare within their own territories. By recognizing and affirming Indigenous sovereignty in this realm, the legislation aims to preserve cultural connections and family ties, which are essential for the well-being of Indigenous children.

Collaboration lies at the heart of the Act. It requires cooperation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous agencies to ensure the successful implementation of the legislation. As non-Indigenous organizations in Alberta, it is our responsibility to engage with Indigenous communities in meaningful ways, respecting their autonomy and expertise in child welfare matters.

Moreover, the Act is not just about addressing past injustices; it’s about working towards healing intergenerational trauma. By acknowledging historical wrongs and empowering Indigenous communities, we contribute to the revitalization of Indigenous cultural practices and the strengthening of community resilience. This is not only beneficial for Indigenous children and families but for society as a whole.

Alberta presents a unique context in the implementation of the Act under Bill C-92. Here, agencies are contracted for the care of children more than anywhere else in Canada. This poses both challenges and opportunities. While current contracts may be with Child and Family Services (CFS), the passage of the Act under Bill C-92 raises questions about the future of these agreements. It underscores the importance of building relationships with First Nations, Metis, and Inuit and agencies to navigate this transition period effectively.

As non-Indigenous community organizations, it’s important for us to approach the Act under Bill C-92 with a spirit of collaboration and partnership. We must recognize the expertise and knowledge that Indigenous communities bring to the table and work together towards a more just and equitable future for all children in Canada. Together, we have the opportunity to create a brighter future for Indigenous children—one where they can thrive within their own communities, surrounded by love, support, and cultural continuity.

The Act under Bill C-92 represents a beacon of hope for Indigenous communities in Alberta and across Canada. As non-Indigenous allies, let us commit to understanding and supporting this legislation, recognizing its potential to transform the lives of Indigenous children and families. Through collaboration and partnership, we can contribute to a future where every child has the opportunity to grow up safe, healthy, and connected to their culture and community.

See More The Act Under Bill C-92 Resources/Update

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Based out of Edmonton, we are a provincial collection of allies – a unified community of agencies that represents the diverse needs of Alberta’s children and families. We are proud to champion the work of our front line service providers and to support our members. Together, we are stronger.


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