All children in Ontario are protected by the Child, Youth and Family Services Act, 2017, which requires services to recognize First Nations, Inuit and Métis culture, heritage, traditions and the extended family concept. It also states that First Nations are entitled, whenever possible, to provide their own child protection services.
The CYFSA contains provisions that require notification to and involvement of bands whenever possible in child protection proceedings.
There are five First Nations societies in Ontario that enforce the CYFSA:
- Anishinaabe Abinoojii Family Services in Kenora
- Dilico Ojibway Child and Family Services in Thunder Bay
- Payukotayno James and Hudson Bay Family Services in Moosonee
- Tikinagan Child and Family Services in Sioux Lookout
- Weechi-it-te-win Family Services in Fort Frances
There are six First Nations child protection societies that apply their own standards of practice and do not apprehend children or enforce the CYFSA:
- Akwesasne Child and Family Services, serving the Akwesasne community in eastern Ontario
- Kina Gbezhgomi Child and Family Service in Wikwemikong on Manitoulin Island
- Kumuwanimano Child and Family Services in Timmins
- Mnaasged Child and Family Services in Muncey, near London
- Nog-da-win-da-min Family and Community Services on the Batchewana First Nation, near Sault Ste Marie
- Six Nations of the Grand River Child & Family Services, in Ohsweken, near Brantford
If you are involved with one of these child protection authorities, it is important for you to know what standards of practice they use. It may also be helpful to have an advocate who can provide you with support, information about your rights and engage in advocacy if necessary.