What are the Touchstones of Hope?

In October 2005, Indigenous and non-Indigenous leaders in child welfare gathered in Niagara Falls at a historic event, Reconciliation: Looking Back, Reaching Forward –Indigenous Peoples and Child Welfare.

The result of this gathering was the creation of the document called "Reconciliation in Child Welfare: Touchstones of Hope for Indigenous Children, Youth and Families" (click here to download or see PDF below). This document draws on the conversations from individuals in Niagara Falls and outlines the concept of reconciliation that is comprised of four phases. Reconciliation engages both Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in a process of:


The process of open exchange (listening and sharing) regarding child welfare’s past;


Affirming and learning from the past and embracing new possibilities for the future;


Addressing the problems of the past and creating a better path for the future, and;


Having recognized that Indigenous peoples are in the best position to make decisions about Indigenous children and youth, we move forward together in a respectful way, along a new path, to achieve better outcomes for Indigenous children and youth.

Participants identified key values to guide these four phases of reconciliation in child welfare. They are essential to the success of a renewed child welfare system, and to set in play a basis for a respectful and meaningful relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples working in child welfare.

  • Self Determination
  • Culture and Language
  • Holistic Approach
  • Structural Interventions
  • Non Discrimination

Printed copies of this document may be purchased through the Caring Society. Contact us at info@fncaringsociety.com or call (613) 230-5885 for more information.