Splatsin, Secwépemc Nation, Enderby, British Columbia – Indigenous Services Canada
First Nations children thrive when they can stay with their families and their communities, surrounded by their culture and language. As part of the Government of Canada’s commitment to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, we will continue to work towards self-determination for First Nations, Inuit and Métis.
Today, at a ceremony in Enderby, British Columbia, Kukpi7 (Chief) Doug Thomas of Splatsin; the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Federal Minister of Indigenous Services; and the Honourable Mitzi Dean, BC Minister of Children and Family Development; celebrated the signing of the first coordination agreement in British Columbia, pursuant to the Act respecting First Nations, Inuit, Métis children, youth and families. This agreement supports the ongoing exercise of Splatsin’s jurisdiction of their Child, Family and Community Services under Spallumcheen Indian Band Bylaw #3-1980 and Secwepemc law.
Over the next 10 years, the agreement will transfer $136.2 million to Splatsin to support their ongoing delivery of child and family services grounded in their culture and family systems. Splatsin has taken care of their children and families since time immemorial under Secwepemc law, and has been exercising jurisdiction and protecting Splatsin children under their Bylaw since 1980. Splatsin will continue this work, as they have always done.
This agreement is a historic milestone as it is the first coordination agreement in British Columbia and the fifth agreement in Canada. The coordination agreement addresses the coordination of services, the delivery of emergency services, mechanisms for First Nations children to exercise their rights, and fiscal agreements that are needs-based, sustainable and consistent with the principle of substantive equality. The coordination agreement also establishes funding from the federal and provincial governments to ensure that the necessary financial resources are in place.
By working together, we are making progress towards supporting Indigenous Peoples to determine and implement solutions for their children and families and towards improving the well-being of Indigenous children and youth, their families and communities, and future generations.