Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

About Bill c92 – AN ACT RESPECTING FIRST NATIONS, INUIT, METIS CHILDREN, YOUTH AND FAMILIES

 

What is the purpose of Bill C-92?

  • It affirms the inherent right of First Nations’ jurisdiction in relation to child and family services.
  • To change the way in which child and family services are provided to Indigenous children.
  • Establishes national principles (best interests of the Indigenous child; cultural continuity; and substantive equality) as well as minimum standards to be met in the provision of child and family services.
  • The best interests of the Indigenous child is always the paramount consideration when it comes to decision-making for that child.

What will be the impact of Bill C-92?

Bill C-92 will help children stay with their families and promote connections to their culture and community. It provides a framework that First Nations can use to exercise jurisdiction in relation to child and family services.

What does Bill C-92 mean for children in care now?

  • The importance of reuniting Indigenous children with their families and communities is recognized.
  • There is a priority placement for the Indigenous child which prioritizes family and community placement.
  • Ongoing reassessment is required to determine the potential for reunification.

Does Bill C-92 apply on and off-reserve?

Yes.

How can a First Nation exercise jurisdiction over Child and Family Services?

Once a First Nation has an existing law it can transition towards exercising jurisdiction over child and family services. Once a law is in place the First Nation sends a request to Canada and Manitoba to enter into a tripartite coordination agreement related to the exercise of First Nation jurisdiction.

Within 12 months of the request being made, if an agreement is reached, or if no agreement is reached but reasonable efforts were made to reach an agreement, the First Nation law would have the force and effect of federal law and would prevail over provincial law in the event of conflict or inconsistency.

When did Bill C-92 come into force?

January 1, 2020

Which courts will have jurisdiction to hear cases under Bill C-92?

Bill C-92 is not intended to oust the jurisdiction of courts presently hearing child protection matters. The Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench will continue to hear child protection matters in Winnipeg and the Provincial Court of Manitoba will continue to hear matters in Peguis.

 

 

About Peguis legislation – HONOURING OUR CHILDREN, FAMILIES AND COMMUNITY ACT

 

What is the purpose of the PFN Law?

  • It affirms the inherent right and jurisdiction of the Peguis First Nation over child and family services.
  • Sets out principles that apply to the interpretation of the law and outlines components of programs and services that the Agency will implement.
  • The provision of child and family services is aimed at strengthening the family and focuses on prevention and reunification.

What is the impact of the PFN Law?

  • It reflects the self-determination of the Peguis First Nation by implementing the inherent rights of the First Nation.
  • The PFN Law works towards keeping children and families together. Alternatively, family and kinship connections would also be strengthened.
  • The PFN Law will still use the Manitoba Court system, but also creates alternatives to the court system, these include:
  • Customary Care Agreements
  • Family Sharing Circle
  • Community Circle of Care
  • Elders and traditional and cultural involvement will be enhanced in child and family services provided by the Agency.

What does the PFN Law mean for children in care now?

Once the PFN Law is in effect, children in care and their families may opt to use the alternatives to the court system processes. There will be greater emphasis on preventative services and reunification assessment to determine if it is the best interests of the Indigenous child to return to their parents or family. Programs and services will now be available to Youth up to age 26.

Does the PFN Law apply on and off-reserve?

Yes.

Where does the PFN Law’s jurisdiction apply?

The PFN Law would be considered federal law and would apply nationally. In addition, the PFN Law must be reviewed every 5 years after it comes into force.

When does the PFN Law come into force?

Likely some time in 2022 depending on the successful negotiation of a Coordination Agreement.

Which courts have jurisdiction to hear cases under the PFN Law?

The PFN Law works towards keeping children and families together. Alternatively, family and kinship connections would also be strengthened.

The PFN Law will still use the Manitoba Court system, but also creates alternatives to the court system, these include:

  • Customary Care Agreements
  • Family Sharing Circle
  • Community Circle of Care

 The PFN Law is forward looking, allowing for the future establishment of an Indigenous Court or Tribunal to deal with child protection matters.

What is a Coordination Agreement?

A Coordination Agreement is to be negotiated between Peguis First Nation, Canada and Manitoba. It is through the Coordination Agreement that fiscal arrangements are established to fund the implementation of the new PFN Law. The three parties will have 12 months to negotiate the Coordination Agreement. If after 12 months of good faith negotiations the Coordination Agreement is not signed, then Peguis First Nation may then enact the new PFN Law by band council resolution.

With the new PFN Law a federal law and national in scope, how would inter-provincial matters be dealt with?

There are existing processes in place, such as Inter-Provincial Protocol Agreements, and these existing processes will be built upon to better reflect the needs and service provision for our membership. We acknowledge that challenges will exist but we are determined to meet these challenges to successfully implement our new PFN Law.

What level of community engagement on the new PFN Law is occurring?

Peguis CFS is hosting online Zoom Webinars with Peguis FN Departments initially then public webinars for the membership will occur. These engagement sessions will occur through the end of summer and in-person sessions may also be scheduled if pandemic restrictions allow for these type of gatherings.

Feedback and comments.

If you have any comments or questions, please email feedback@peguiscfs.org for your questions or comments to be considered.