COWESSESS, Sask. – A First Nation in southeastern Saskatchewan is looking to bring home some of its children who are in the long-term care of government or Indigenous child-welfare agencies.
Construction of a modular home for 10 girls 14 years or older is to begin on Monday for the Cowessess band.
Chief Cadmus Delorme says the First Nation wants to have a direct role in reconciliation of its children.
The chief says there are more than 100 Cowessess children in care all over Western Canada.
The First Nation has named a community connections outreach worker to help find them and to advocate for them.
Delorme says he understands that some children are already in good foster homes, but the First Nation would like to reach out to support them or help them connect with their heritage.
“Then there’s also some of the children who don’t have that stability, who are jumping from home to home,” he said Thursday at the ground-breaking for the girls home.
“Their identity, where they belong, they might not feel confident in it.”
The girls home is expected to open in July. Housing for boys is to be built after that.
The work is in the calls to action found in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report, said Delorme, who added he realizes that people alive today did not write the Indian Act or create residential schools.
“But we all kind of inherited the aftermath. And we all have to play a part,” he said. “It’s up to us to teach (Indigenous youth) to walk with their head up high,”
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