Challenge to Bill C-92 by Northwest Territories: Inuvialuit surprised

L’irc was in negotiation until very recently with the GNWT establish its own law on children and the family.

First Nations, Inuit and Métis Children, Youth and Families Bill C-92, passed in 2020, gives indigenous governments the right to self-manage their services for children and families.

This federal law paved the way for theircwhich allowed it to develop its own Child and Family Act in 2021, called the Inuvialuit Qitunrariit Inuuniarnikkun Maligaksat or, in French, the Inuvialuit Family Way of Life Act.

In an open letter published Wednesday in the balloon and mailthe president and CEO of theircDuane Ningaqsiq Smith, writes that the Premier of the Northwest Territories, carolina cochranehad applauded the approach of theircdeclaring at the time that it was a a big step forward in ensuring that decisions are made in the best interests of Inuvialuit children, youth and families.

This challenge, which was launched by the Quebec government in March, is heard in the Supreme Court of Canada this week. the GNWT filed a request for intervention. According to documents filed with the court, prosecutors GNWT they argue that the law infringes their rights under the Northwest Territories Act.

Still according to documents filed with the court, the law alters the jurisdiction delegated to the Northwest Territories by the Northwest Territories Act and has the effect of undermining the legislative authority of the Northwest Territories.

This position surprisesirc. Duane Ningaqsiq Smith says that the Inuvialuit were in negotiations with their territorial counterparts about a transition process to the model developed by theircbased on their own Inuvialuit Children and Family Services Act.

Recently, in one of the last meetings, they informed us that they were taking a 180° turn on this issue and that they were going to present their intervention before the Supreme Court. »

a quote from Duane Smith Ningaqsiq Smith, CEO, Inuvialuit Regional Corporation

We negotiated in good faith for more than 10 months and at the last minute they changedhe adds.

Duane Ningaqsiq Smith mentions that the‘IRC asked the Government of the Northwest Territories to withdraw its request to intervene in this case from the Supreme Court of Canada.

ICI Grand Nord has requested an interview with the Premier Cochranebut still no response.

With information from Richard Gleeson

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