Children, Seniors and Social Development
August 16, 2018

Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Government of Canada Announce Opening of Shushepeshipan Group Home

Today, the Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Government of Canada celebrated the opening of the new Shushepeshipan Group Home. This Innu-led, operated and staffed group home is part of the Innu’s larger vision to have placement resources available in the communities of Sheshatshiu and Natuashish when Innu children and youth require a period of out of home care.

Representatives from the Innu Nation, Sheshatshiu Innu and Mushuau Innu First Nations, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Government of Canada worked in partnership to develop capacity within the Innu communities for residential placement options. This new group home, located in Sheshatshiu, will increase staffed residential group home and emergency placement options in Innu communities.

Indigenous Services Canada provided more than $1.05 million to the Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation for salaries as well as staff training and youth programming needed to meet the requirements for operating a Level 4 Staffed Residential Placement Resource. The training component focused on the development and delivery of child and youth care training for group home staff and included research and curriculum development, job shadowing opportunities and elder participation. The funding also supported on-the-ground coaching and mentoring with staff to ensure programs delivered for youth in the home are evidence-based and culturally appropriate.

The Department of Children, Seniors and Social Development and Shushepeshipan Ishpitentamun Mitshuap Inc. have entered into a service agreement that clearly outlines the provincial requirements and standards of care for a Level 4 Staffed Residential Placement Resource. These standards include those related to programming, daily care and supervision, staff training and qualifications, and home safety. The department will provide oversight through minimum monthly visits with the children and youth placed in the group home and monthly monitoring of compliance with departmental polices and standards.

The Shushepeshipan Group Home will recognize Indigenous culture and values as an essential component to healthy Indigenous children, while supporting their understanding and appreciation of the proud history and culture of the Innu people. The home will provide unique cultural programming and a significant role for community elders to engage with Innu children and youth in care. This initiative and partnership between the Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Government of Canada is an example of an important step in improving the well-being of children in Canada.

This initiative also supports commitments in The Way Forward to deliver better services and better outcomes for residents. The Way Forward outlines all actions the Provincial Government is taking to achieve a strong, diversified province with a high standard of living, and can be viewed at thewayforward.gov.nl.ca.

Quotes

“Our government is extremely pleased to work in partnership with Innu leadership and the Government of Canada in the development of an Innu led placement resource, the Shushepeshipan Group Home. This new group home and the Innu staff will offer an Innu Care Approach to residential care that is consistent with our Level 4 Staffed Residential Placement Resource policies and provide culturally appropriate and supportive care for Innu children and youth in their communities.”
Honourable Lisa Dempster
Minister of Children, Seniors and Social Development

“The Government of Canada recognizes that Indigenous culture and values are an integral component to the health of their children and youth. I am pleased that Indigenous Services Canada has worked with Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador towards the inauguration of the Shushepeshipan Group Home – an Innu-led initiative that will provide a safe and healthy placement resource for Innu children and youth, allowing them to connect to their culture and values.”
Honourable Jane Philpott, M.D., P.C., M.P.
Minister of Indigenous Services, Government of Canada

“The Shushepeshipan Group Home is an Innu-led initiative built on the foundations of Innu culture. This home is a wonderful example of three partners recognizing and supporting Indigenous culture as a key component to ensuring the health and well-being of Indigenous children. The Government of Canada is proud to have worked with the Innu and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador on this important initiative.”
Yvonne Jones
Member of Parliament for Labrador and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, Government of Canada

“Our Innu children and youth, and particularly those in care, are some of the most vulnerable in society. For too long, Innu children have been taken from families and communities. We are proud with the opening of the Shushepeshipan Group Home to have worked with federal, provincial and private partners and to have met the highest provincial standards. We will finally be able to care for our own children in our own way and we will continue to work to ‘bring our Innu children home”.
Chief Eugene Hart
Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation

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Media contacts
Gina MacArthur
Children, Seniors and Social Development
709-729-3768, 730-2977
ginamacarthur@gov.nl.ca

Rachel Rappaport
Office of the Honourable Jane Philpott
Minister of Indigenous Services
819-934-2796

Media Relations
Indigenous Services Canada
819-953-1160

Donna Paddon
Kashkuan Communications
709-899-5799
donna.paddon@kashkuan.ca

2018 08 16                              1:30 p.m.