From February 29- March 1, SIIA and the Centre for Indigenous Research and Community Led Engagement (CIRCLE) co-hosted the SIIA-CIRCLE Gathering on Indigenous Jurisdiction over Child Welfare.  

Over the two days, our team gathered in the First People’s House’s ceremonial hall with some of the leading scholars in North America within the fields of Indigenous law, social work, and governance. We were grateful that several of our Aunties, community leaders, and board members were able to join us for several sessions as well. The intention of this gathering was for our Community Technical Report and Draft Law to be reviewed publicly by those in attendance.  

Each academic in attendance was assigned a particular question in relation to the work we are doing, and dialogue was facilitated based on these questions. Many of the questions we are working through right now revolve around how our law is going to be implemented within our Indigenous Guest Community, as we are one of the only Indigenous Governing Body hoping to protect our Guest Community through our law.  

Our community engagement team was encouraged to be reminded throughout the gathering of how crucial community members’ voices and stories are as we draft our Law. Our stories teach us how resilient our children are and how we have always had our own ways of knowing how to protect our children, even from the people that we might love.  

Overall, we were so grateful for the space we co-created with CIRCLE to move forward this important work. We were encouraged by those in attendance that the work we have done to date is incredibly impressive, and many in the room were emotional as they discussed what it meant to them on a personal level to read our Technical Report. We also were reminded that the strength of our work comes from the fact that we represent a collective of Nations and Urban relatives working together with one vision.  

háy̓sxʷ q̓ə | Huy ch q’u | ƛ̕eeko | ǥilakas’la | HÍSW̱ḴE to everyone who came together to make this gathering possible!