The Saskatchewan government is taking back responsibility for the care of children from the Saskatoon Tribal Council Child and Family Services.
Social Services Minister Donna Harpauer says the tribal council has repeatedly refused the ministry access to files for children it serves on reserve.
Harpauer says that means the government has no idea how many children are being cared for or what kind of care they’re receiving.
Harpauer says officials plan to go to the Saskatoon Tribal Council office today to get the files and, if that doesn’t work, the province will have to go through the courts.
In the meantime, the Chief of the Saskatoon Tribal Council doesn’t think the Social Services Ministry really wants an agreement.
Chief Felix Thomas says there was a meeting that didn’t go well on Monday and then by Tuesday, the letter was already delivered about taking over the responsibilities for child welfare – so he believes their minds were already made up.
If there is a legitimate request for information on a child in their care, there is a way to do it, Thomas says, adding there is a process the STC would like Social Services to follow.
That process was sent to Social Services, Thomas explains, but they never heard back.
He points out a child has never died in the STC’s care in their 20 years of operation, which is something the Ministry can’t say.
The next step, Thomas says is to take the issue to court and have a judge decide.
(with files from The Canadian Press/CJWW)