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Indigenous Child Welfare: Canadian Law and Inherent Jurisdiction

  • Toronto Toronto, ON Canada (map)

We’ve updated our training for child welfare professionals and band representatives to reflect the many developments in the field over the last year and in the coming year.

We’ll be holding one-day sessions in Toronto and London, and a two-day session in Thunder Bay. The two-day session will include hands-on exercises for band representatives and other participants, to participate in the examination and cross-examination of witnesses, the drafting of court documents, and in making submissions before a court, in addition to our train- ing on the areas outlined below.


  • March 14, 2019, Toronto (one day session)

  • March 21, 2019, London (one day session)

  • March 27-28, 2019, Thunder Bay (two day session)


  • $950.00 for one day, $1,500 for two day session in Thunder Bay.


  • March 8, 2019


In this year’s training, we will discuss:

  • Inherent Jurisdiction of First Nations over child welfare.

  • initiatives across the country to reclaim exclusive jurisdiction over child welfare by

    communities and nations (and federal and provincial responses to these initiatives,

    and inherent jurisdiction, generally).

  • the constitutional basis for the resumption of inherent, exclusive jurisdiction.

  • operational and other legal considerations.

  • Update on the 2018 decision of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal in response to Dr. Cindy Blackstock's First Nations Child and Family Caring Society and the Assembly of First Nations and Canada’s response.

  • Canada’s recent engagement in Indigenous child welfare, including available information on the announced Federal Child Welfare Legislation.

  • Accessing funding and resources for Band Representative.s

  • An update on the work of the federal Indigenous Child Committee, and contemplated legislation repatriating jurisdiction to First Nations.

  • Ontario’s 2017 CYFSA: what has changed, what has not, and what the changes mean for Indigenous children, families, and communities, including how the courts have interpreted these changes over the last year.

  • Evidence heard concerning Indigenous Child Welfare at the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Inquiry.

  • Child welfare court proceedings: forms, timelines, evidence, and procedures.

  • Advocating on behalf of children and communities in child welfare proceedings including how to conduct examinations-in-chief and cross-examinations.