The Government of Canada recognizes that Indigenous culture and values are an integral component to the well-being of their children and youth.
Today, the Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Indigenous Services, along with Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation, Mushuau Innu First Nation, and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador announced funding for emergency placement homes within the Innu communities of Natuashish and Sheshatshiu in Labrador. Together, these groups worked in partnership to develop placement options located within the communities to reduce the number of children that are placed in care outside their community and culture.
Indigenous Services Canada provided $3.73 million to the Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation and Mushuau Innu First Nation for capacity building for the development of children and youth placement services which integrate the Innu care approach in staffing, management and service delivery practices.
Indigenous Services Canada is also providing approximately $2 million annually to the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador for the operation of the Shushepeshipan Group Home in Sheshatshiu that opened in August 2018.
“Having emergency placement homes with these communities is vital for providing children with the support they need while keeping them close to their community and culture. This is all thanks to SheshatshiuInnu First Nation, Mushuau Innu First Nation, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Government of Canada working together in partnership to ensure the health and safety of Innu children while supporting their understanding and appreciation of their proud history and culture.”
The Honourable Seamus O’Regan, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Indigenous Services
“Children who grow up with a strong connection to their family and their culture have the foundation they need to be successful. Emergency placement homes in Natuashish and Sheshatshiu will ensure the health and safety of Innu children, while supporting their understanding and appreciation of their proud history and culture. I want to take this opportunity to congratulate both communities.”
Yvonne Jones, Member of Parliament for Labrador and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Intergovernmental and Northern Affairs and Internal Trade, Government of Canada
“As Chief of Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation I am glad that we are seeing the funding for this project move forward. My Council and I have been proud of the progress that we have seen over the last while in relation to Innu Youth in care. With the upgrading of the Shushepeshipan Group home to a level 4 facility last year and the Emergency Placement Home opening in early 2020 we are making another step towards fully realizing the Innu Care approach to protect the children in our community with more steps left to come. I would like to thank all the staff who put in the hard work from all levels of government along with both bands to realize this great accomplishment.”
Chief Eugene Hart
Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation
“Over 60 of our Mushuau Innu children remain in the care of the provincial system. Over two thirds are placed outside the community, and most of those are in homes where they are disconnected from Innu culture and language. The EPH is the first practical step for us to address this devastating situation. We are proud to have worked with federal and provincial officials and our planning & training partner, Aurelia, in developing the EPH in the community. The home is managed and operated to the highest provincial standard, with Innu trained staff, using an Innu model of care.”
Chief John Nui
Mushuau Innu First Nation
“As a government, we are pleased to work in partnership with the Innu Nation, Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation, Mushuau Innu First Nation and the Government of Canada in the development and opening of an Innu developed and run placement resource – a new emergency placement home. The new placement, operated by Mushuau EPH and Group Home Incorporated, is being guided by the Innu Care Approach which incorporates the collective knowledge, wisdom and values of the Innu people with best practices in child and youth care. This approach is consistent with the policies of our Level 4 Staffed Residential Placement Resources, and most importantly, is providing culturally appropriate and supportive care for Innu children and youth in their communities, where they belong.”
Honourable Lisa Dempster
Minister of Children, Seniors and Social Development
Government of Newfoundland and Labrador
The Mushuau Innu First Nation is located in the community of Natuashish in northern Labrador.
The Natuashish emergency placement home is open and has been operating since April 2019.
The emergency placement home located in Sheshatshiu is expected to open in early 2020.
Funding for capacity development included training, management process and tools (including case management systems) to ensure compliance with provincial standards.
Children and youth placement services are delivered through a service agreement between the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Child, Seniors and Social Development Department (CSSD) and an Innu organization in each of the communities.
Indigenous Services Canada previously provided $1.4 million to the Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation to assist the community in delivering programming for their Shushepeshipan Group Home.
Indigenous Services Canada is also providing up to $1.5 million for a fire hall in Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation.