Elders Council

Based on the guiding principles of the Seven Teachings, the Elders Council provides insight, advice and guidance on matters and issues applicable to the Aboriginal child welfare system. The Elders will bring forth their knowledge and wisdom to ensure that Aboriginal culture, traditions, values, spirituality and all collective aspects of the Aboriginal way of life are respected, inclusive and become a primary focus for our children and families.

Major Functions of the Elders Council

  • Provide mediation if identified as the preferred avenue of resolution.
  • Share historical knowledge through various teaching methods, including orally, powerpoint and other resources to foster parents and agency staff.  
  • Assist programs in the development of culturally appropriate resource materials and brochures for our children and youth in care.
  • Provide cultural teachings at Southern First Nations Network of Care events, including quarterly/seasonal ceremonies, Annual General Meeting, and Agency Relations.

  • The Elders will accomplish their intentions by sharing gifts and knowledge with families, youth, community members and all those who seek a good life. The council will work in partnership with community programs, services and Elders from other First Nations when appropriate.
    - Statement of The Elders Council

Providing Support and Wisdom 

The Elders Council is comprised of one or two representatives from each of our member agencies. They are appointed by the Executive Director of their respective agency and are defined by their community. The Elders Council serves as an advisory body to the Southern Network and our member Agencies to facilitate the current development of programming and provide direction and guidance over all culturally sensitive discussions. 

The Elders Council is accountable to their respective agency, community and the Southern Network. Within their core functions, the Elders Council will take steps to ensure that the members hold each other responsible in this undertaking. 

The Elders Council assists with the current development of programming and provides direction and guidance over all culturally sensitive discussions. The Elders have developed brochures on teachings, such as the purification ceremony and the four medicines to assist in educating staff and families. As well, the Elders have offered different types of teachings in efforts to assist with educating and healing of our people. 

The Elders Council meets quarterly and are guided by a terms of reference inclusive of the Seven Teachings.  All of the Elders have met the requirements of a Criminal Records Check, Child Abuse Registry and Prior Contact Checks. Many of them are pipe carriers and have conducted types of ceremonies for the Southern Network, as required for our Annual General Meeting, Solstices and Equinoxes, Open House, and blessing and cleansing of the office. Their involvement and entity to the Southern Network is very valuable and necessary to the changes of our system and the health of our peoples. 

Our Elders Commit To:

  • Utilizing and promoting the Seven Teachings as a guiding principle for discussions. 
  • Keeping the well-being of families and community members at the centre of all discussion.
  • Assisting staff, families, youth and community members to the best of their abilities. 
  • Providing guidance and direction to the Southern Network. We accept our duties to assist our Nations in the best possible way. It is understood that the Elders are a vital component to the survival of our culture and traditions.
  • Ensuring balance by including representation of both men and women on the council.  Protocols, behaviours, morals, teachings and values regarding ceremonies will be upheld at all times in respect and honour for our ancestors' teachings and way of life.
  • Respecting all Indigenous culture and spirituality and shall be in accordance will the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as the United Nations Declaration of Rights on Indigenous Peoples.
  • Providing the Southern Network with guidance and direction for culturally appropriate programming.

Meet Our Elders

We are taking care of our own.

If you would like to learn more about our organization, the services we provide or our member agencies, please feel free to start a conversation.

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