Human Rights Commissioner – Fix the Child Welfare system – together

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diabetes workshop
photo by Xavier Kataquapit TURTLE CONCEPTS presented a one day workshop for students in Timmins recently. Organizers of the event include Back Row L-R: Caitlyn Lefebvre, Timmins Native Friendship Centre; Richard Aubin, Metis Nation of Ontario; Jamie Davey, Timmins Family Health Team; Sarah Gasparetto, W Earle Miller School Student; Cody Syrette, Turtle Concepts; Patrick Champagne, Turtle Concepts and Darus Ramoutar, Turtle Concepts. Front L-R are: Angie Olajuwon, Timmins Diabetes Expo; Marty Paul, Porcupine Health Unit; Sierra Jones-McLeod, W Earle Miller School Student; Dave “Jaegar” Jones, Turtle Concepts; Peggy Claveau, Diabetes Expo Committee Chair and Wabun Health Representative and Christina Devaney, Timmins Family Health Team. Missing from photo is Julie St. Onge, Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA) Timmins.

OTTAWA – The Chief Commissioner of Canadian Human Rights Commission, Marie-Claude Landry says, “Ten years ago today, a journey began to address an issue that had been ignored for far too long. The First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada, along with the Assembly of First Nations, filed a complaint on behalf of Indigenous children who were taken into the child welfare system and away from their families. Most of the Indigenous children that were in the child welfare system when this complaint was filed are now adults, and some have since lost their own children to the system.

“The inadequate funding of child welfare services on reserves perpetuates the cycle of despair created by residential schools. More than a year ago, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal issued an order that was meant to end this cycle.

“The Canadian Human Rights Commission is calling for an end to this injustice, and the constructive resolution of the ongoing litigation. Every day that goes by without a resolution impacts lives.

“As Canada’s national human rights institution, it is our role to bring attention to the deplorable conditions and circumstances facing Indigenous peoples in almost every aspect of their lives. Every Indigenous child taken from their family, every child who takes their life out of despair, every child who feels abandoned by those charged with their wellbeing, is one child too many.

“The litigation in this case continues next month, and the Commission will make its full submissions before the Tribunal; yet litigation has its limits. We need quick action to ensure that all agencies helping these children and their families have sufficient funding to make a difference in their lives today.

“A handful of people have the responsibility to implement the Tribunal ruling and fix the Child Welfare system – together. It’s time.”