John Beaucage was appointed Aboriginal advisor to the Minister of Children and Youth Services Laurel Broten April 14.
April 29, 2010: Volume 37 #9, Page A6
Serving a one-year term, Beaucage will improve services for Aboriginal children and youth, both on and off reserve by providing advice on Aboriginal child welfare issues, according to the ministry.
The appointment was met with trepidation by Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Stan Beardy who said it will be almost impossible to make any substantive improvements to the system in a year.
“It’s a good step,” Beardy said, but children’s aid is at a stage where the challenge is sustainability.
“We are at a stage of jurisdiction,” he said.
First Nations want more control over the system, Beardy said, and that’s not something that is immediately on the horizon.
He said Beaucage, a former Grand Council Chief of the Anishinabek Nation, is a good person and he understands the challenges facing First Nations and their people so there is hope for the future.
“I am honoured to be a part of our province’s efforts to help its Aboriginal communities,” Beaucage said. “Experience teaches us that the best way to build solid relationships is to listen. I sincerely look forward to hearing from, and engaging with, Aboriginal leaders across the province in an effort to advise our government on how to better support our children and youth.”
Minister of Aboriginal Affairs Chris Bentley said Beaucage was a good choice for the position.
“John Beaucage is an exceptional choice to serve as the Aboriginal Advisor to the Minister of Children and Youth Services.
His experience, knowledge and passion will bring enhanced capacity, vision and action to help Aboriginal children and youth,” said the minister.
Broten is hopeful Beaucage’s appointment will help the ministry.
“By reaching out to Aboriginal communities and continuing to build trusting relationships, we will find solutions to strengthen services and supports for Aboriginal children and youth,” Broten said. “I am looking forward to working with Mr. Beaucage and our Aboriginal communities to ensure we have the supports in place to help Aboriginal children and youth reach their full potential.”
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