Indigenous children represent 52.2% of children in foster care in private homes in Canada. The over-representation of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nation children in the child welfare system is a humanitarian crisis.
Indigenous children who have been in care face greater risks of adverse health outcomes, violence and incarceration.
This broad-based legislation will be inclusive of all Indigenous peoples while respecting a distinctions-based approach. The legislation would affirm inherent Aboriginal and Treaty rights as well as affirm principles consistent with the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
READ: Government of Canada, with First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nation leaders, announce co-developed legislation will be introduced on Indigenous child and family services in early 2019 | Benzinga
- Indigenous children represent 52.2% of children in foster care in private homes in Canada but account for only 7.7% of the overall child population.
- The first five Calls to Action by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission relate to child welfare.
- Call to Action #4 calls "upon the federal government to enact Aboriginal child-welfare legislation that establishes national standards for Aboriginal child apprehension and custody cases and includes principles that:
- Affirm the right of Aboriginal governments to establish and maintain their own child-welfare agencies.
- Require all child-welfare agencies and courts to take the residential school legacy into account in their decision making.
- Establish, as an important priority, a requirement that placements of Aboriginal children into temporary and permanent care be culturally appropriate."
"For the larger part of Canada's history, Indigenous children have suffered as a result of racist and misogynistic colonial policies. As legislators, we have an obligation to do better for Indigenous children. We must support the development of policies that do not force an ultimatum between the well-being of children and their Indigenous identities."
Senator Marilou McPhedran, Senate of CanadaManitoba