Grand Chief Jonathan Solomon Statement on Child Death

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Mushkegowuk

Grand Chief Calls for an Inquest and Movement on the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal Proceedings

Grand Chief Jonathan Solomon states, “It is with great sadness that we learned of the passing of one of our young community members to fire while in an Ontario Paid Institution (OPI) in Ottawa”.

“This  young young child was from the community of Fort Albany and was in the care of our local Child and Family Service Agency since 2003.

“While community members and leadership try to understand the circumstances of the situation and deal with the shock and grief felt by family, parents, and the community, we ask ourselves why did this young life who was taken into care perish so far from home and so alone. While the supervising Agency, Fire Marshal and Police Services work diligently to piece the puzzle together, it does little to answer the countless questions as to why was this matter through the support of a Human Rights Court challenge through the Caring Society of Canada in that Aboriginal Agencies were discriminated against by the Provincial Government through a funding formula that didn’t provide adequate nor equitable resourcing that could enable our Agency to bring these services and children closer to home”.

“Despite that victory in that Human Rights Court Challenge, the government has refused and are yet to come good on the directives from that process. Instead the Province has closed our only Group Home because of a lack of resources/ services that was situated in our region perpetuating a practise that we have no alternative but to send our children south.

“We are challenged every day as leaders, community members and parents in the remote north to change the quality of life for our children and it is tragedy’s such as this that strengthens our resolve. We can’t ignore such tragic events and I will be calling for an inquest this is not an isolated case we have lost other children.” continued Grand Chief Jonathan Solomon.

“It’s a sad situation that we have courts of law, courts to hear the injustices of a flawed system only to see any positive decisions rendered and or advancements that are simply ignored by government. As the community, family and Agency gather to make plans on the return of this child to the community it is not a far reminder of the Residential Schools who not so long ago had a similar practice”.