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Positive change coming for Huu-ay-aht children and families following release of Social Services Panel recommendations

/ -- ANACLA, BC--(Marketwired - June 01, 2017) - Huu-ay-aht First Nations has identified "bringing our children home" as a priority for the Nation.

Since the fall of 2016, work has been underway within the Nation to build a future where Huu-ay-aht children are safe, happy, healthy, and connected with their families. An independent, four-member panel was appointed by Executive Council to explore and recommend changes and improvements that can be made under the Maa-nulth Treaty to child and family services for Huu-ay-aht families.

This week, Executive Council received the Panel's report, which contains 30 recommendations, including the need for more human and financial resources for this area of the government.

"It is important to us that we are creating a made-in-Huu-ay-aht solution to this problem," says Huu-ay-aht's Chief Councillor Robert J. Dennis Sr. "Huu-ay-aht is once again leading the way and creating a world-leading approach that will create positive change that is greatly needed."

For Huu-ay-aht Councillor Sheila Charles this has been a dream of hers for many years, and to see it come to fruition in a respectful way means more than words can express.

"I have long recognized the flawed system and urgency for change. I clearly can see the parallels between residential school and children-in-care today," she says. "In the spirit of reconciliation, children-in-care contradicts reconciling.

"Healing needs to take place and families need extra support to allow the healing to prevent children from being taken in the first place. I am very pleased with the panel's 30 recommendations and look forward to implementing them," she concludes.

Huu-ay-aht's Chief Councillor says, "Now that Executive Council has the report, we look forward to reviewing it extensively. The next step will be to bring it to the people through community consultation."

At that point, guided by the will of citizens, Executive Council will decide how to proceed with the independent recommendations and forge a new path on this incredibly important issue -- the welfare of Huu-ay-aht children.

About Huu-ay-aht First Nations

Huu-ay-aht First Nations is an indigenous community located on the west coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia. It is a part of the Nuu-chah-nulth Nations, formerly called the Nootka. Huu-ay-aht is a party to the Maa-nulth Final Agreement, a modern treaty that grants its five member-nations constitutionally protected self-government as well as ownership, control, and law-making authority over their lands and resources. For more information, visit

For further information, please contact:

Heather Thomson
Communications Coordinator
Phone: 250-723-0100 ext. 222
Cell: 250.720.7776

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