July 25th, 2024

New legislation a step forward for Indigenous youth


By Lethbridge Herald on June 13, 2024.

Alexandra Noad
LOCAL JOURNALISM INITIATIVE REPORTER

Kainai Children Services will be hosting community engagement sessions for their new Blood Tribe Family Preservation Code legislation over the summer.

This legislation is in accordance federal Bill C-92: An Act Respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis Children, Youth and Family which became law in January of 2020.

This act gave the First Nations the authority to govern their own children and family services.

Tanya Pace-Crosschild, Kainai Children Services preservation manager, says this act is a step in the right direction for Indigenous sovereignty.

“For us, taking taking over this initiative and and being reflective of what we value as Kainai people is big step towards our First Nation sovereignty,” said Pace-Crosschild.

The Kainai Nation has a team of specialists that work in different areas to help them build the capacity to take on their own legislation for their tribal members wherever they reside, not just on the reserve.

Pace-Crosschild says the Blackfoot people had a intricate system to help rear their children prior to colonization, and it is important for the Blackfoot people to return to those roots.

“There was specific roles that people played in our community within extended family when mom and dad couldn’t couldn’t care for their children, so there was a real complex tribal network of support,” said Pace-Crosschild.

Kainai Children Services has been working on this legislation, which blends traditional laws and Blackfoot customs since 1996, which Pace-Crosschild says is proof of how well the Blackfoot people plan for the future, especially when it comes to their children.

“It’s just a testimony to how innovative the Blackfoot people are in terms of planning for the future and anticipating those changes and creating a better future for our children and family,” said Pace-Crosschild.

The information sessions will inform the communities of the legislation and gather feedback from participants.

A session will come to Lethbridge at Opakaa’sin Early Intervention Society on June 27 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. More sessions can be found on the Kainaiwa Children Services Corporations Facebook page.

Pace-Crosschild hopes that the community will rally together to help the future of their children.

“What we really need is the community to come forward and help us with this document and having their input into it.”

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