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Custody & access

At one time Aboriginal women did not have to worry about child custody and access. Women shaped the social structure and held decision-making power. Every family member held important responsibilities in the well-being of the children. It was an honour and privilege to have such significant roles in a child’s life so everyone took their responsibilities very seriously.

The belief was that no one owned the children. Each child was a blessing to be given every possible opportunity to be unique, and to receive the utmost best of teachings to bring forth a healthy and well-balanced individual.

– Mabel Nipshank

As this description makes clear, there is a cultural divide between the value system of many Indigenous women and the laws related to custody and access. Even the language of custody and access may be offensive to you if you do not think of children as property to be owned by either parent.

Having support and advocacy from someone who is knowledgeable and experienced in supporting Indigenous women through the family court system can help in managing the divide in value systems.

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