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Province announces pilot program to help Aboriginal families stay together
Grand Chief Ed John (centre left), Justice Minister Suzanne Anton, (centre) Minister of Children and Family Development Stephanie Cadieux (centre right). (Credit: Province of BC)

Province announces pilot program to help Aboriginal families stay together

The Children’s Ministry has announced a new aboriginal family court pilot program aimed at reducing the number of indigenous children in government care.

The program in New Westminster will support families worried about losing their children to create a healing plan with treatment options and cultural ceremonies to mark their progress.

The province’s minister of justice, Suzanne Anton says this program will go towards helping families, which in turn will reduce crime.

She adds the program aims to reduce the over-representation of Aboriginal children with negative outcomes.

The pilot program will include band elders in proceedings in what Chief Clifford White of the Gitxaala Nation says is an aboriginal-led solution and the hope is that communities can adapt the model to use in child-welfare cases.

The province is providing $90,000 dollars in funding for the first year of the program in which up to 15 families will take part beginning next month.

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