LLRIB celebrates Supreme Court ruling

Valerie G. Barnes Connell Jordan/Northern Advocate. LLRIB Chief Tammy Cook-Searson.

The Lac La Ronge Indian Band (LLRIB) leadership are celebrating the Supreme Courts recent decision, which upholds the governance of First Nations of their child and family welfare services, according to a LLRIB news release dated Feb. 12, 2024.

They say it’s a significant milestone for the Nation, and an important step toward a “reconciled future.”

“For far too long, our community has experienced the detrimental impacts of policies that have fragmented our families and attempted to erase our cultural identity. Generations of our people have suffered under government actions that dismantled our families and threatened our way of life. The landmark decision challenges this dark past and offers a path forward for our people to heal and govern ourselves according to our own laws,” Chief Tammy Cook-Searson said the news release.

The First Nation noted that the decision is in keeping with both the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation.

“It stands in stark contrast to the era of residential schools, the ‘Sixties Scoup’, and the provincial child welfare policies that were aimed to assimilate Indigenous children throughout Canada,” quoted from the news release.

The decision puts LLRIB laws regarding child and family services legislation on equal foot with federal law, superceding provincial law, “offering a level of protection and autonomy previously unseen,” quoted from the news release.

“This is not just a legal win. We see this decision as a catalyst for change, where the rights and welfare of our children will be actively protected by our own laws. Moving forward, we will be able to look after our children in ways that reflect our deeply rooted values and traditions, to ensure that they grow up with a strong sense of identity, belonging and pride,” Cook-Searson said in the news release.

The Supreme Court upheld the 2019 federal Trudeau government legislation respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis, you and families (Act) which establishes national standards and provides Indigenous peoples with effective control over their children’s welfare, according to a Supreme Court communication.