STATEMENT: Tikinagan thanks community of Thunder Bay District

Posted: June 18th, 2020

Created in 1984 to provide culturally-specific child and family services that emphasize an Indigenous approach to child wellbeing, Tikinagan Child & Family Services was one of the first Indigenous-controlled agencies in Canada and one of the first two Indigenous agency recognized as a child protection organization in Ontario.

Working under a dual mandate in 30 First Nations and 10 urban areas, Tikinagan is designated by Ontario under the Child, Youth & Family Services Act to protect children from harm, and mandated by area First Chiefs to provide services that are culturally sensitive to the needs of Indigenous children, families and communities. Whether our children live on or off reserve, a child’s safety and wellbeing is our primary responsibility with the goal of keeping children connected to their culture and communities.

Our First Nation Chiefs wanted Tikinagan to deliver service to their families in the Thunder Bay District and advocated with the Ministry for this. We were designated by the Ministry of Children, Youth & Family Services to provide services for children and families residing in the Thunder Bay district in January 2020.

Since our arrival, we have been overwhelmed by the support and positive remarks by residents in the district of Thunder Bay, who have shown a welcoming, caring attitude toward our services. Our work is driven by our model, Mamow Obiki-ahwahsoowin. In Ojibway/Oji-Cree, Mamow Obiki-ahwahsoowin means, "Everyone working together to raise our children." We are honoured to have supportive individuals and communities join in our effort to help raise our children and make a difference in the lives of the First Nation children we serve.

We operate in First Nation communities and in urban areas all across northwestern Ontario. We are rooted in the fundamental value of respect and supporting the rights of Indigenous Children. Throughout our work, we hold deep respect for children, families, communities, Elders, traditions and culture. This respect is demonstrated through humility, a non-judgmental attitude, effective listening, clear communication, and recognition of the unique strengths of others. And relying on the strengths of others is an essential resource for child wellbeing agencies.

We look forward to providing services in the Thunder Bay district where our children will grow and thrive while still remaining supported and connected to the culture, traditions, families and First Nation communities.

And lastly, we invite you to join us this Wednesday, June 24 for our agency’s annual Honouring Our Children Day. This important day is just one way to remind children of how awesome, amazing, super, incredible, smart, fun, strong, and special they are. Since 2010, Honouring our Children Day is recognized throughout the summer and into the fall and in each of the 30 First Nation communities, celebrating the day in its own unique way. Today, and on June 24, take time to make the children and youth in your life feel special. Let’s honour our children. Let’s work together to give children and youth love, safety, attention, and compassion. Follow us on Facebook for special videos submitted by our staff and special guests to honour the day!

To learn more about our values click here, or to learn more about our Mamow Obiki-ahwahsoowin service model, click here. If you are interested in becoming a Foster Bay in the Thunder Bay district with us, click here.