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An Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families (S.C. 2019, c. 24)

Act current to 2020-03-05 and last amended on 2020-01-01. Previous Versions

Provision of Child and Family Services

Marginal note:Effect of services

 Child and family services provided in relation to an Indigenous child are to be provided in a manner that

  • (a) takes into account the child’s needs, including with respect to his or her physical, emotional and psychological safety, security and well-being;

  • (b) takes into account the child’s culture;

  • (c) allows the child to know his or her family origins; and

  • (d) promotes substantive equality between the child and other children.

Marginal note:Notice

  •  (1) In the context of providing child and family services in relation to an Indigenous child, to the extent that doing so is consistent with the best interests of the child, before taking any significant measure in relation to the child, the service provider must provide notice of the measure to the child’s parent and the care provider, as well as to the Indigenous governing body that acts on behalf of the Indigenous group, community or people to which the child belongs and that has informed the service provider that they are acting on behalf of that Indigenous group, community or people.

  • Marginal note:Personal information

    (2) The service provider must ensure that the notice provided to an Indigenous governing body under subsection (1) does not contain personal information about the child, a member of the child’s family or the care provider, other than information that is necessary to explain the proposed significant measure or that is required by the Indigenous governing body’s coordination agreement.

Marginal note:Representations and party status

 In the context of a civil proceeding in respect of the provision of child and family services in relation to an Indigenous child,

  • (a) the child’s parent and the care provider have the right to make representations and to have party status; and

  • (b) the Indigenous governing body acting on behalf of the Indigenous group, community or people to which the child belongs has the right to make representations.

Marginal note:Priority to preventive care

  •  (1) In the context of providing child and family services in relation to an Indigenous child, to the extent that providing a service that promotes preventive care to support the child’s family is consistent with the best interests of the child, the provision of that service is to be given priority over other services.

  • Marginal note:Prenatal care

    (2) To the extent that providing a prenatal service that promotes preventive care is consistent with what will likely be in the best interests of an Indigenous child after he or she is born, the provision of that service is to be given priority over other services in order to prevent the apprehension of the child at the time of the child’s birth.

Marginal note:Socio-economic conditions

 In the context of providing child and family services in relation to an Indigenous child, to the extent that it is consistent with the best interests of the child, the child must not be apprehended solely on the basis of his or her socio-economic conditions, including poverty, lack of adequate housing or infrastructure or the state of health of his or her parent or the care provider.

Marginal note:Reasonable efforts

 In the context of providing child and family services in relation to an Indigenous child, unless immediate apprehension is consistent with the best interests of the child, before apprehending a child who resides with one of the child’s parents or another adult member of the child’s family, the service provider must demonstrate that he or she made reasonable efforts to have the child continue to reside with that person.

Placement of Indigenous Child

Marginal note:Priority

  •  (1) The placement of an Indigenous child in the context of providing child and family services in relation to the child, to the extent that it is consistent with the best interests of the child, is to occur in the following order of priority:

    • (a) with one of the child’s parents;

    • (b) with another adult member of the child’s family;

    • (c) with an adult who belongs to the same Indigenous group, community or people as the child;

    • (d) with an adult who belongs to an Indigenous group, community or people other than the one to which the child belongs; or

    • (e) with any other adult.

  • Marginal note:Placement with or near other children

    (2) When the order of priority set out in subsection (1) is being applied, the possibility of placing the child with or near children who have the same parent as the child, or who are otherwise members of the child’s family, must be considered in the determination of whether a placement would be consistent with the best interests of the child.

  • Marginal note:Customs and traditions

    (2.1) The placement of a child under subsection (1) must take into account the customs and traditions of Indigenous peoples such as with regards to customary adoption.

  • Marginal note:Family unity

    (3) In the context of providing child and family services in relation to an Indigenous child, there must be a reassessment, conducted on a ongoing basis, of whether it would be appropriate to place the child with

    • (a) a person referred to in paragraph (1)(a), if the child does not reside with such a person; or

    • (b) a person referred to in paragraph (1)(b), if the child does not reside with such a person and unless the child resides with a person referred to in paragraph (1)(a).

Marginal note:Attachment and emotional ties

 In the context of providing child and family services in relation to an Indigenous child, if the child is not placed with a member of his or her family in accordance with paragraph 16(1)(a) or (b), to the extent that doing so is consistent with the best interests of the child, the child’s attachment and emotional ties to each such member of his or her family are to be promoted.

Jurisdiction — Child and Family Services

Marginal note:Affirmation

  •  (1) The inherent right of self-government recognized and affirmed by section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982 includes jurisdiction in relation to child and family services, including legislative authority in relation to those services and authority to administer and enforce laws made under that legislative authority.

  • Marginal note:Dispute resolution mechanisms

    (2) For greater certainty and for the purposes of subsection (1), the authority to administer and enforce laws includes the authority to provide for dispute resolution mechanisms.

Marginal note:Application of Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

 The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms applies to an Indigenous governing body in the exercise of jurisdiction in relation to child and family services on behalf of an Indigenous group, community or people.

Laws of Indigenous Groups, Communities or Peoples

Coordination and Application

Marginal note:Notice

  •  (1) If an Indigenous group, community or people intends to exercise its legislative authority in relation to child and family services, an Indigenous governing body acting on behalf of that Indigenous group, community or people may give notice of that intention to the Minister and the government of each province in which the Indigenous group, community or people is located.

  • Marginal note:Coordination agreement

    (2) The Indigenous governing body may also request that the Minister and the government of each of those provinces enter into a coordination agreement with the Indigenous governing body in relation to the exercise of the legislative authority, respecting, among other things,

    • (a) the provision of emergency services to ensure the safety, security and well-being of Indigenous children;

    • (b) support measures to enable Indigenous children to exercise their rights effectively;

    • (c) fiscal arrangements, relating to the provision of child and family services by the Indigenous governing body, that are sustainable, needs-based and consistent with the principle of substantive equality in order to secure long-term positive outcomes for Indigenous children, families and communities and to support the capacity of the Indigenous group, community or people to exercise the legislative authority effectively; and

    • (d) any other coordination measure related to the effective exercise of the legislative authority.

  • Marginal note:Application — sections 21 and 22

    (3) Sections 21 and 22 apply only in respect of an Indigenous group, community or people on whose behalf an Indigenous governing body

    • (a) entered into a coordination agreement; or

    • (b) has not entered into a coordination agreement, although it made reasonable efforts to do so during the period of one year after the day on which the request is made.

  • Marginal note:Clarification

    (4) For the purposes of paragraph 3(b), sections 21 and 22 apply beginning on the day after the day on which the period referred to in that paragraph ends.

  • Marginal note:Dispute resolution mechanism

    (5) If the Indigenous governing body, the Minister and the government of each of those provinces make reasonable efforts to enter into a coordination agreement but do not enter into a coordination agreement, a dispute resolution mechanism provided for by the regulations made under section 32 may be used to promote entering into a coordination agreement.

  • Marginal note:New request

    (6) If sections 21 and 22 do not apply in respect of an Indigenous group, community or people, nothing prevents the Indigenous governing body that has already made a request under subsection (2) on behalf of the Indigenous group, community or people from making a new request.

  • Marginal note:Coordination agreement entered into after one year

    (7) For greater certainty, even if sections 21 and 22 apply in respect of an Indigenous group, community or people on behalf of which an Indigenous governing body has not entered into a coordination agreement, nothing prevents the Indigenous governing body from entering into a coordination agreement after the end of the period referred to in paragraph (3)(b).

 
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