Treaty One Territory – Winnipeg – Yesterday six women, Minodaay Ikwewak Niiganiwaak, which translates to “Kind Hearted Women Are Leading”, began a 4-day fast to bring awareness to the 11, 000 First Nation children in the child welfare industry.
“Each week, each day, a child is removed from their mother at a Winnipeg Hospital. We hear and feel the pain families go through to keep their children or have them returned back. Most cases do not merit the reason to have children apprehended, but it such a common practise that workers do not see an alternative way to help families,” stated Cora Morgan, First Nation Family Advocate.
The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs established a First Nations Family Advocate office less than four months ago, to help transform the Manitoba’s child and family service system that focuses on keeping families together while providing the supports needed. Children continue to consistently be apprehended from their family and community, to be put in foster care or group homes. This undertaking of apprehension first, is detrimental to the child’s spiritual, mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing.
“There is an ongoing cycle that creates more harm within children, families and communities than building healthy families”, commented the AMC Grand Chief.
“The government keeps feeding into this failing system with the same end results of higher number of children in care,” continued Nepinak.
“Since we started the Bringing Our Children Home report, we request the Minister of Child and Family Service to support this alternative initiative but unfortunately this has fallen on deaf ears without any cooperation,” added the Grand Chief.
The fast starts Monday, September 21, 2015 till Thursday, September 24, 2015 on the east side grounds of the legislative building.
People are encouraged to visit the site to stand in solidarity as we fast for our children and youth.