AMC signs historic MOU with Canada to reaffirm our jurisdiction of children and families

December 7, 2017

Treaty One Territory, Manitoba


December 7, 2017

OTTAWA, ON _ The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs Grand Chief Arlen Dumas along with Minister Carolyn Bennett, Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs; and Minister Jane Philpott, Department of Indigenous Services signed a Memorandum of Understanding that begins discussions on Manitoba First Nations’ inherent jurisdiction over the well-being of First Nations families and children and reform of the federal First Nations Child and Family Services Program accordingly.

“When we look at the history of First Nation child welfare policy in this country there was one consistent goal: assimilation. Government policy was invasive and destructive; it cut to the core of our communities,” said Grand Chief Dumas.

“In signing this MOU with Canada, the AMC and Manitoba First Nations will finally exert their full jurisdiction in child welfare, and not simply administer the laws, policies and directives of another government.”

Through the Keewaywin: Our Way Home Engagement Sessions, AMC heard from grassroots citizens that echoed Manitoba Chiefs’ position: take back jurisdiction of our children and enhance and support First Nation capacity in all areas. This report is available on our website:

The AMC recently held an Assembly in Dakota Tipi First Nation. It was here that the Chiefs-in-Assembly supported the Grand Chief to sign this historic Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of Canada.

As part of this MOU, the Province of Manitoba will be invited to participate in discussions regarding issues and at times and on terms as agreed by the AMC and Government of Canada.

AMC had previously denounced the Pallister government’s plan to incentivise guardianship of First Nations children; which would make it almost impossible for families to regain custody of their children.

“The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs is committed to working with Manitoba First Nations to exert their inherent jurisdiction over child welfare and working collaboratively with Canada to achieve our First Nations’ child welfare reform priorities,” said Grand Chief Dumas.