Devolution

Weechi-it-te-win has always been considered a “temporary” means of First Nation management and delivery of child welfare services. 

What is devolution?

Devolution is the delegation of authority and the transfer of resources and “sacred responsibility” for services from the Tribal/Central Administration offices of Weechi-it-it-te-win to the ten (10) First Nations.  The ten First Nations have become the management structures of child welfare, and services are delivered directly at the community, by the community.  This transfer of management and service delivery is done through ceremony and signing of legal Service Agreements with each of the First Nations. 

In order for devolution to be successful there must be dual accountability and a strong partnership between Weechi-it-te-win and the First Nations.  Service Agreements are negotiated and signed every 2 to 4 years.

Weechi-it-te-win’s Child Welfare Service Delivery System

A Decentralized Model – A vision that materialized in 2002

What is the Ultimate Goal for Devolution?

The primary objective for devolution of child welfare services is to revitalize the core institution of our Anishinaabe society and structures.  Devolution supports the self-government aspirations of our communities

self government is our right as a people, a gift from the Creator…is our Anishinaabe heritage…expresses the will of the peopleFort Frances Area Tribal Chiefs - Declaration of self-government - 1993/94

Devolution can also be termed as “decentralization of services.”  Through this framework, Weechi-it-te-win’s main office becomes a “resource bank” for the First Nations to ensure that service and training needs are met. 

Philosophy of the Resource Bank - Weechi-it-te-win Family Services

As a resource to the First Nation Community Care Programs, it is the philosophy of the agency to provide quality services. Remembering Naaniigaan Abinoojii is our central purpose, each resource will uphold the best interest and integrity of services to each child, family, and community we serve. As a resource bank, staff will be accountable, responsible, ethical, truthful, and consistent. We will continue to strengthen each other as we recognize your success is our success. As a staff we will be respectful, cooperative, kind-hearted, and motivated to the concepts involved in mino-biimaatiziiwin. We will promote the positives, the resiliency, the strengths, and we will empower cultural restorative strategies to empower change and healthy living.

Working towards the same goals, Weechi-it-te-win Family Services and the First Nation Community Care Programs will work as a team; will develop cohesiveness, and comradery needed to bring about the principles of Naaniigaan Abinoojii. Our commitment and motivation to the administrative harmonization of Ministry child welfare and children’s mental health standards will be a responsibility to each other as together we make up the leaders in Anishinaabe Child Welfare excellence.

With the renewal of energy and the focus of sacred strength we will awaken the traditional family and community laws on child care. We will utilize our Elders to embrace our language, our teachings and our ceremonies to fully realize the meaning in Weechi-it-te-win and the true intentions of our founding fathers.

As a resource to the communities, we will form a sincere engagement with you, the clients, the workers, the committees, the board, and the chiefs. We will recognize the need to be culturally competent and begin to specialize in the unique needs of your community.  As a resource we recognize that one size does not fit all, and we need to engage and learn from multiple people through community contributions to Weechi-it-te-win’s overall vision.

As a resource bank for the communities, together we will set high standards, work towards excellence, and champion powerful outcomes for children in our care. The children we care for will know they are loved, who their family and extended family is, as well they will know their community and their community teachings. We will support the positive and resilient identity that exists in the children in our care.

Dedication and commitment to our mutual success is the philosophy of the resource bank. Empowering our communities and through them promoting the healing of our families and our children is our central purpose. We will continue to grow together as leaders and continue to monitor our performance together as this multi-directional circle is our protective network for our children and our children’s children.

The Resource Staff

Promising Practice Article