Read the announcement here.

British Columbia child and family welfare laws now respect and uphold the inherent rights of Indigenous communities to provide their own child and family services with the passing of new legislation. The new Indigenous Self-Government in Child and Family Services Amendment Act act lays the path for Indigenous Peoples in BC to legally assume jurisdiction over child and family services in their communities.

The act makes the first jurisdiction in Canada to recognize an inherent right of self-government specifically in provincial legislation, which will help keep Indigenous children and youth safely connected to their families, cultures and communities.

The legislative amendments remove barriers and gaps within provincial legislation, enabling the Province and Indigenous Peoples to collaborate and ensure Indigenous Peoples can govern and provide services based on their own child and family laws.

The amendments:

  • recognize the inherent right of self-government as written into section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982, and provide a pathway for Indigenous Peoples to implement their own Indigenous laws over child and family services in B.C.;
  • remove existing barriers and gaps to allow Indigenous governing bodies to exercise direct responsibility for their children and youth under their Indigenous laws in matters related to child protection, custody, guardianship and care; and
  • strengthen consultation, co-operation and consent-based decision-making with Indigenous communities about adoption placements for Indigenous children and youth.

To learn more about the amendments, please visit this link

Introduction of the bill by the Honourable Mitzi Dean, Minister of Children and Family Development