Niijaansinaanik Child and Family Services originally began in 1992 formerly known as Gzaa-Gaah-Naa-Nig Child and Family Services. There was a funding agreement between Gzaa-Gaah-Naa-Nig and the Ministry of Children and Youth Services from 1992 -1995. Due to a change in provincial government the funding was discontinued and the organization was forced to cease providing services.
September 2016 Waabnoong Bemjiwang Association of First Nations (WBAFN) entered into a service contract with the Ministry of Children and Youth Service as a Service Provider for the Waabnoong Bemjiwang Child-Well Being Development Project. The project was to develop an agency that will be designated as Child Well-Being Agency serving the First Nations of Wasauksing, Shawanaga, Magnetawan, Henvey Inlet, Dokis, and Wahnapitae. In December 2016, the agency began Stage A of the designation process and community consultations were completed with the seven First Nation communities. The seven First Nations and the Board of Directors of Waabnoong Bemjiwang Association of First Nations supported the project to becoming a Child Well Being Agency. Ministerial requirements were met within one year of beginning operations and the project was supported by the First Nations and approved by the ministry to move into Stage B of the designation process.
Capacity building began in January 2018 and the organization is currently in the process of completing the requirements needed to move forward with the designation process.
December 2018 also marked a historical accolade for the organization as it has received ministerial approval for a foster care license (Alternative Care). The organization will soon be conducting recruiting efforts to open Anishnaabe foster homes in the Anishinaabe territory.
In the fall of 2018, consultation with Elders and language speakers found the agency to be given a new name as it moves forward to deliver culturally congruent services to community members. The agency is now known as Niijaansinaanik Child and Family Services which translates from Anishnabemowin to English as “Our Children”.
Also in the fall of 2018,incorporation status as a non profit organization was received and the transition from WBAFN to a stand-alone organization was completed February 2019.
Moving forward, further capacity building will eventually have Niijaansinanik Child and Family Services providing child protection and prevention services to the six First Nations and all other Indigenous peoples living within our jurisdiction.