OKT proud to work alongside Inuvialuit on their landmark child and family services law

Aboriginal Law | Children & Youth | Governance | Indigenous Legal Orders

November 25, 2021; updated November 26, 2021

“For the first time in modern history, the Inuvialuit have passed a law for the Inuvialuit.” (NNSL Media, Nov. 24, 2021)

It’s not a coincidence that this landmark step was taken by developing a law about Inuvialuit children, youth and families. We heard clearly from Inuvialuit leadership, staff, and community members about how important the wellbeing of their young people is for them. That wellbeing has also faced enormous multi-generational impacts from residential schools and the current child and family services system that were, and are, controlled by outsiders.

Inuvialuit Qitunrariit Inuuniarnikkun Maligaksat, the Inuvialuit Family Way of Living Law, is going to progressively take back Inuvialuit control in child and family services. It starts now.

Yesterday, our client Inuvialuit Regional Corporation passed that law, and several related regulations. Some parts are in force.

All Indigenous peoples, including Inuvialuit, have pre-existing laws within their own legal orders. But the work to reclaim those legal traditions, revitalize them, and bring binding current laws into operation in today’s legal environment, fully interacting with federal, provincial and territorial laws – that work is only just beginning.

OKT’s Judith Rae, Larry Innes and Nick Sowsun are honoured to have been part of the team on this work.

We look forward to continuing to support Inuvialuit Regional Corporation as its journey continues, and implementation of the Inuvialuit Qitunrariit Inuuniarnikkun Maligaksat takes shape on the ground with related services. It will make a real difference for Inuvialuit children, youth and families.

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