Child Welfare

LEGAL Child Welfare

NWAC is committed to creating an inclusive world where Indigenous children can reach their full potential and lead healthy lifestyles that balance spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical health.


  • Facilitate the formation of a national committee, with Indigenous representation, to discuss the work and complaints associated with Indigenous child and family services.
  • Empower Indigenous communities to determine and prioritize resources and services needed most from child and family service organizations.
  • Support programs and services provided by child and family service organizations must be flexible to meet the specific needs of Indigenous communities.


Prior to colonization, Indigenous communities and families had well-established systems of childcare and education that focused on the well-being of Indigenous children and youth. In 1951, revisions to the Indian Act granted provincial child welfare agencies authority on reserves, which led to Indigenous children being taken away from their families at a staggering rate. Despite recent apologies from the government, these actions have resulted in more Indigenous children in the child welfare system today than during the peak of the residential school system.

In January 2019, NWAC hosted a national conference where important stakeholders met to discuss the emergency state of child and family services for Indigenous families. In February 2019, Indigenous Services Canada introduced Bill C-92, an Act Respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis Children, Youth and Families, which affirmed Indigenous peoples’ right to exercise authority over child and family services. NWAC prioritizes the inclusion of Indigenous Women, Girls, Two-Spirit, Transgender, and Gender-Diverse People, during the implementation process of Bill C-92. NWAC advocates for issues of child welfare through the development of policy, which influences and guides the implementation of federal legislation.

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