ACT C-92

(Effective since January 1st, 2020)

Prevention - Best interests of the child - Substantive equality

What is the Act C-92?

It is the recognition of the rights and jurisdiction of Indigenous peoples in the area of child and family services.

What is it used for?

This federal law is based on national principles* ensuring respect and cultural adaptation of communities. It takes precedence over provincial law, meaning that youth protection must take this into account in each of its practices with an Indigenous child.

What does it involve?

It opens the door for communities to adopt their own child protection laws and to adapt their own practices to cultural realities.

National Principles*

A principle is an orientation to be favoured. National principles are the foundation of Act C-92 in terms of prevention and protection, and eventually, of a Wabanaki law.


Cultural continuity

Section 9: Recognition of the transmission of the languages, cultures, practices, customs, traditions, ceremonies and knowledge of Indigenous peoples as an essential condition for the wellness of children and families.

Substantive equality

Section 9: Consideration for the rights and special needs of all children so that they can participate fully, without discrimination, in the activities of their family, community or nation, in particular the right to have their views and their preferences taken into account in decisions concerning them.

Best interests of the child

Section 10: Particular attention paid to the physical, psychological and emotional wellbeing and safety of the child as well as to the importance of having continuous relationships with their family, community or nation and of preserving their cultural identity and their connections to their culture, language and territory.

Effect of services

Section 11: The services offered to children must consider their culture and allow them to know about their family origins.


Section 12: The parents, the care provider and the Indigenous governing body must be notified before any important measures are taken for the child.

Representations & party status

Section 13: In the context of a civil proceeding in respect of the provision of child and family services in relation to an Indigenous child, the child’s parents, the care provider and the Indigenous governing body have the right to make representations.

Priority to preventive care

Section 14: In the context of providing child and family services in relation to an Indigenous child, to the extent that providing a service that promotes preventive care to support the child’s family is consistent with the best interests of the child, the provision of that service is to be given priority over other services, and this includes youth protection services.

Socio-economic conditions

Section 15: Children must not be removed from their environment solely because of their socio-economic condition, including poverty, overcrowding, or the health status of their parents.

Reasonable efforts

Section 15: Before a child who lives with their parents or family is removed from their environment, the youth protection worker is required to demonstrate that reasonable efforts (meetings, calls, etc.) have been made to ensure that the child can continue to live with them.

Priority in the event of the placement of a child

Section 16: The placement of the child is done in an order of priority that makes it possible to foster the child’s attachment to their parents or to another member of their family when the child does not live with them. 1- A parent 2- Another adult member of the child’s family 3- An adult who belongs to their community or nation 4- An adult who belongs to another community or nation 5- Any other adult

A governing body working for you

Acting on your behalf, the Abenaki Councils of Odanak and Wôlinak, the Grand Conseil de la Nation Waban-Aki, the First Nations Child and Family Services (FNCFS), as well as community representatives are working together and making every effort to develop a law specific to Wabanaki realities.


Act C-92 (full version)



Definitions and explanations of the law in concrete terms