First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Services
First Nations Métis and Inuit
For several years, in recognition of the legacy of residential schools and the Sixties Scoop, Simcoe Muskoka Family Connexions (SMFC) has been actively building relationships with the First Nations communities across the region and restoring the responsibility of providing child welfare services back to indigenous communities.
The release of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) report in the spring of 2015, has made the child welfare sector redouble its efforts. The final report includes five recommendations that specifically call out child welfare and relate to principles of connection, responsibility, involvement of the community in the lives of their children, and acknowledging cultural differences, in that one size doesn’t fit all in terms of engaging with families.
For the past decade the SMFC has worked closely with the local First Nations communities to build culturally significant services to engage families through the creation of a First Nation, Métis, and Inuit (FNMI) Unit, which includes two child protection teams and one FNMI resources team. In the fall of 2015 Bopisowin, Sacred Lodge was opened in the head office in Barrie to host cleansing and sacred ceremonies to support FNMI clients, staff and groups.
Our previous efforts combined with the release of the TRC report have led us to making reconciliation a priority for our agency. To learn more, and to access services for FNMI families click here.