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Partnership between feds, STC supports First Nations-led initiatives

The federal government announced two investments totalling $56.2 million with the Saskatoon Tribal Council to benefit First Nation communities in Saskatchewan. Angie Mellen / Global News

A partnership between the federal government and the Saskatoon Tribal Council (STC) will support two First Nations-led initiatives in Saskatchewan

Indigenous Services is investing $50 million over the next five years to implement activities to help at-risk families, while developing and employing prevention services and programs based on community needs and priorities.

The goal is to ensure children and families can stay together in their communities.

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“If the funding is flowed to address those circumstances, rather than take the child away, then families can stay intact and those children can be raised in their culture and community,” said Jane Philpott, the minister of Indigenous Services, on Tuesday in Saskatoon

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A second investment of $6.2 million over three years will go towards developing a First Nation-led transformation of health services.

Philpott said the funding reflects the federal government’s commitment to supporting First Nations.

“These investments are aimed at improving health outcomes, access to health services, and placing a greater focus on prevention activities to help families at risk stay together in their communities,” Philpott said.

“I am eager to follow the progress of the Saskatoon Tribal Council in these endeavours, and to see the many benefits this will bring to many First Nation Communities in Saskatchewan.“

READ MORE: Indigenous patients still waiting for equity in health care: Canadian doctor

Saskatoon Tribal Council Chief Mark Arcand said it will allow them to enhance and expand programs that align with their priorities.

“This is a critical moment for First Nations communities who continue to suffer the emotional and physical effects of residential schools, the 60’s scoop and harmful child welfare policies,” Arcand said.

“The need is real, and these agreements will allow us to initiate more focused, robust programming and much-needed prevention services to begin rebuilding communities and healing families.”

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