Frequently asked Questions:

1. Does the NLG Designated Representative and the Court Resources Team respond to notices of court proceedings involving Nisg‑ a’a children all over BC? Answer: Yes. While it is not always possible to appear in person in court, if the NLG Designated Representative receives notice of a proceeding involving a Nisg‑ a’a child, a member of the Court Resources Team will contact social workers to ensure they take into account Nisg‑ a’a family, culture and community when considering a plan of care for the child. We will also ask to participate by phone if we can’t appear in court in person.

2. Is the Designated Representative and Court Resources Team part of Nisg‑ a’a Child and Family Services (NCFS)? Answer: No. The Director of Programs & Services, as the Des‑ ignated Representative for NLG, and the Court Resources Team do not fill the role of social worker nor are they part of NCFS.

3. Is the Designated Representative able to act on behalf of the parent as an advocate? Answer: No. The Director of Programs & Services and the Court Resource Team do not act as advocates for parents or family. Our role in child protection proceedings is to ensure that Nisg‑ a’a children retain their cultural identity and connection to family. Depending on the situation, the Court Resource Team may collaborate with social workers to encourage a Nisg‑ a’a child’s attendance to cultural activities, including rites of passages, Hobiyee and seasonal harvesting.

4. How do you ensure the child’s Nisg‑ a’a culture is retained? Answer: The court resources team liaises with various agencies on cultural planning and provides cultural informa ‑ tion packages. We encourage the involvement of Nisg‑ a’a families and huwilp in family group conferences and other planning meetings, and often attend these meetings in a liaison role outside the Nass Valley.

5. How do you support the child’s Nisg‑ a’a citizenship? Answer: The Court Resource Team connects the family or social workers with the Nisg‑ a’a Citizenship Registry Manager and can also provide citizenship application documents. Eligibility and Enrolment as a Nisg‑ a’a citizen is a legislated process under the Nisga’a Citizenship Act. The Court Resource Team is not involved in reviewing or deciding citizenship applications.

6. Do you attend court? Answer: Yes. Members of our Court Resource Team often attend court in person or by telephone on behalf of the designated representative. When we attend court processes, our function is to draw the judge’s attention to the importance of ensuring a child’s Nisg‑ a’a culture and family connections are retained and honoured.

While the Designated Representative receives notice of matters involving Nisg‑ a’a children from NCFS, the Court Resources Team does not attend these matters unless there are extenuating circumstances, because NCFS will ensure the connection to Nisga’a culture is maintained.

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