A Culture of Care

Connecting Child Welfare, Health Services, and Mental Health & Addictions Around Individual, Family & Community Needs.

Dilico Anishinabek Family Care provides services for the complete life journey of all Anishinabek people. 

Guided by the teachings of the past and Anishinabek culture, we are working to change the direction of Indigenous child, family and community wellness. Our goal is to find better pathways to healing and well-being by caring for children and families, and the communities where they live.

The Dilico Integrated Model of Care brings together a wide range of services and programs to support children, youth and families to live their good life – physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.  We offer services, rooted in culture, that address diverse issues related to child welfare, mental health & addictions, and primary health.

‘Family’ is the best way to describe Dilico. We are a family that cares for each other.
Our Dilico spirit names are: Animkii Binesi (meaning Thunder Bird) and Migizi (meaning Eagle).


Dilico’s services are available to Indigenous and First Nation residents of any age living in our jurisdiction, as well as to children in Dilico care and their caregivers.

First Nations in Dilico’s jurisdiction are:



Dilico promotes healing and well-being of the Anishinabek people using an integrated holistic approach in a way that honours values, culture and traditions.


To be identified as a self-governed organization that is recognized as a leader in the research and delivery of child welfare, mental health and addictions, and health services. Delivery of community based services that enhance the well-being of Anishinabek children, families and communities in a culturally safe manner.

Core Values

  • Client centered services based upon teamwork.
  • Quality service delivery that is ethical, caring, compassionate and sensitive.
  • Partnerships that advance the well-being of the Anishinabek.
  • Role models who demonstrate positive leadership.
  • An environment that creates positive morale.
  • Effective and accountable management.
  • Long range strategic planning.

Dilico Anishinabek Family Care

Our History


Indian Bands within northern Ontario expressed concerns regarding the high number of Indigenous children in the care of Children’s Aid Societies. In December 1981, a Chiefs of Ontario Resolution endorsed: “That the child welfare agencies of Ontario and Manitoba shall not remove our children from our reserves and shall return to their Bands those of our children whom they have removed in the past; and that we the Indian Nations in Ontario shall create our own Indian Child Welfare laws, policies and programs, based on the protection of the family and the preservation of their Indian culture within the Indian family.”

sixty-five percent of the children in Family and Children’s Services in Thunder Bay were of Indigenous descent.  Family and Children’s Services of Thunder Bay and the Chiefs of the First Nations Indian Bands – the District Liaison Council (Dilico) submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Community and Social Services which resulted in Band control of child welfare services to Native children’s, families and communities

Dilico Ojibway Child and Family Services was incorporated on July 23, 1986. Dilico’s mandate was to develop and implement a child welfare system to strengthen, maintain and support Anishnabek children and families

Dilico’s service delivery structure was decentralized and five District offices were established in Nipigon, Longlac, Armstrong, Marathon and Fort William First Nation


Dilico was designated under the Child and Family Services Acts as a Native Children’s Aid Society for 13 affiliated First Nations and their memberships within the District of Thunder Bay and a portion of the District of Algoma

Dilico became responsible for Children’s Mental Health services. The Health Transfer and the Long Term Care agreements initiated service responsibility for Community and Mandatory Health Nursing, Primary Care and the Community Long-Term Care Services
Dilico announced a fresh new tagline for the agency. Dilico replaced “Ojibway Child and Family Services” with “Anishinabek Family Care” as the agency descriptor. This new tagline is consistent with the letter of intent of First Nations representatives in 1994 (Kitchi-gaa-ming Anishinabek Ogemaag) and with the development of Dilico’s mandate in 1986
Dilico Anishinabek Family Care and the Children’s Aid Society of the District of Thunder Bay, together with Chiefs of the First Nations, gathered to endorse a Memorandum of Understanding.  The Memorandum of Understanding is intended to document and state once again, the commitment of both Dilico Anishinabek Family Care and the Children’s Aid Society of the District of Thunder Bay to reach the overarching goal of transferring jurisdiction over all Indigenous children and families in the city and district of Thunder Bay from the Children’s Aid Society of the District of Thunder Bay to Dilico Anishinabek Family Care
The Mikinaak Service Model named by the Robinson-Superior Elders was formally introduced. A culturally based model where the First Nation community, family and extended family are involved in ensuring a child’s safety and well-being. It involves drawing on local traditions of caring in order to ensure that the children remain a part of the family, extended family, and community. Accordingly, members of a child’s immediate and extended family, and the community as a whole may participate in decision making related to the child’s well-being.
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