Questions about Youth Protection in Eeyou Istchee
This page answers questions you may have about Youth Protection and The Commission.
ᐄᔨᔨᐅᔨᒧᐎᓐ | IIYIYIUYIMUWIN | Taria Matoush, interim director of Youth Protection at the Cree Board of Health, explains how Youth Protection works in Eeyou Istchee
VIDEO: A brief overview of Youth Protection in Eeyou Istchee ᐄᔨᔨᐅᔨᒧᐎᓐ | IIYIYIUYIMUWIN
The Cree Health Board is responsible for Youth Protection Services and certain Youth Criminal Justice Services in our region, through our Cree Department of Youth Protection (DYP).
The DYP aims to ensure the safety of all children under 18 years of age in Eeyou Istchee.
The Department of Youth Protection is there to protect youth by acting in situations where a child:
- is abandoned;
- is neglected;
- is psychologically abused;
- is sexually abused;
- is physically abused;
- presents serious behavioral problems;
- is at severe risk of being neglected or sexually or physically abused.
Youth Protection supports youth throughout Eeyou Istchee.
When Youth Protection receives a call describing a situation in which a child or youth is believed to be at risk, the local Youth Protection team assesses the situation to determine whether or not the youth’s security or development are being threatened. If the youth’s security or development are determined to be in danger, the Youth Protection worker is legally required to step in and to decide on measures to protect the child and prevent the endangering circumstances from reoccurring.
Check out Youth Protection Services on creehealth.org.
Questions about the aah chishtipistihch awaash-uschiniichisiu sikischaayimuwiniyiu / Cree Youth Protection Commission
The CBHSSJB is responsible for youth protection services and certain youth criminal justice services in Eeyou Istchee, through its Director of Youth Protection (Cree DYP).
In April 2021, the CBHSSJB Board of Directors established the Awash-Uschiniichisuu Shikascheimuun Task Force to help the CBHSSJB to better adapt these services to the specific needs and realities of the Cree context.
This Task Force is made up of key CBHSSJB personnel, and mandated to invite regional Cree entities to collaborate with it, including the Cree Nation Government, Cree School Board, CWEIA, Nishiiyuu Council of Elders and the Cree Nation Youth Council.
The CBHSSJB recognized that the Task Force needed help to conduct a major consultation process across Eeyou Istchee to carry out its mandate.
Two external, Cree-speaking Commissioners (1 Inland dialect and 1 Coastal dialect) were engaged by the CBHSSJB to assist this Task Force, including through consultation and engagement sessions internally within CHBSSJB, and externally for the public in each of the Cree communities and with relevant stakeholders.
The two Cree Commissioners have a critical role to play in conducting these consultations and engagement sessions.
The purpose of the Commission is to hear the community’s voices and perspectives, and the proposed areas of change that will guide this process of making “Youth Protection the Cree way” as stated by Mr. Bertie Wapachee, Chairperson of CBHSSJB. This requires affirming our traditional systems of culture, law and knowledge that ensured effective protection of children for thousands of years.
The Commission will carry out consultations and engagement sessions in Cree communities and with focus groups, to help identify concerns in Eeyou Istchee about the current Youth Protection and youth criminal justice systems, as well as Cree solutions and Cree principles to address these concerns.
Upon completion of these sessions, the Commissioners will report to the Task Force and to the CBHSSJB Board of Directors on the findings and recommendations that they deem appropriate and in the public interest.
The Commissioners may also choose to share information and findings with the CBHSSJB during the Commission, so that the CBHSSJB may adapt its services before the final report.
- Launch Event for the Internal Commission – April 12, 2023
- The commencement of the internal Commission, the CBHSSJB staff were met virtually to inform about the chishtipistihch awaash-uschiniichisiu sikischaayimuwiniyiu / Cree Youth Protection Commission.
- Internal Commission (within CBHSSJB) – April to August 2023 - Commissioners conducting the consultations within the organization of CBHSSJB
- Launch Event for the External Commission – September 7, 2023 - The commencement of the external Commission, the general population of Eeyou Istchee will be informed in-person about the chishtipistihch awaash-uschiniichisiu sikischaayimuwiniyiu / Cree Youth Protection Commission. This event will be (aired) livestream throughout Eeyou Istchee from Mistissini.
- External Commission – September 2023 to January 2024 - Commissioners conducting the consultations in Cree communities and relevant stakeholders
- Report Writing – February 2024 to June 2024
For further information, please refer to the Commission Calendar
Currently, Youth Protection Services are a priority for the Cree Board of Health and Social Services of James Bay (CBHSSJB) and our Nation. The work of the Commission is very important because it is about our children and youth, and the necessity to adapt services to specific needs and realities of our Cree context.
Questions about the consultation process
The consultation process involves animating focus groups, holding community meetings, and receiving individual testimonies.
The chaashtipishtihch/Commissioners will also welcome written briefs from interested parties.
The Commission welcomes contributions from all members of the public on their experiences, views, observations, and ideas in order to carry out its mandate and fully appreciate how these matters affected individual, parents, families and the general public.
There are several ways in which you can share your views and provide input and please be on the lookout for the Commission Schedule:
- animating focus groups;
- holding community meetings;
- receiving individual testimonies; and
- written briefs from interested parties are welcomed.
To promote positive engagement by participants, and to ensure respect for confidentiality and privacy, the following guidelines (or norms) were established for these consultation sessions.
As participants in these sessions:
- We create a safe place for sharing.
- We treat each other with respect. People who act inappropriately may be asked to leave.
- As a matter of respect and trust, we turn off our phones and other electronic devices during consultations. We do not record or post anything online relating to the sessions.
- We respect each other’s privacy.
- We keep personal information about others to ourselves, such as information about specific children, family members or workers. This includes names, job titles, or other details that would allow others to identify someone we are speaking about.
- We are kind to one another.
- We engage in a positive and constructive way with each other, with a view to making positive change rather than to blame others.
- We share our views without blaming or accusing specific people or organizations.
By staying in the session, each person agrees to respect these standards and understands that there may be legal consequences for not respecting them, such as by posting information about the consultation on social media.
Media are not invited to participate in consultations. Any media interviews should take place outside of consultation rooms.
A matter relating to an issue between specific CBHSSJB employees may be directed to the CBHSSJB Resolution Officer.
Any complaint by a client regarding a specific CBHSSJB employee or service may be directed to the CBHSSJB Quality of Services and Complaints Commissioner.
A person with a specific issue relating to an individual employee or specific services of another organization should contact that organization directly.