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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Tribunal: Canada's human rights abuses of First Nations children

Archive photo: Sitka, Alaska Residential Boarding School

Canadian Government faces allegations of discrimination towards First Nations Children at Canadian Human Rights Tribunal

OTTAWA, Feb. 22, 2013 /Canada News Wire
 
On February 25, 2013, the Government of Canada will appear before the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal to face 14 weeks of hearings to determine if its flawed and inequitable First Nations child and family services program is discriminatory. The federal government controls and funds child and family services on reserves where as the provinces and territories do so for other children. The Auditor General of Canada and other expert reports confirm that the federal government's funding and program approaches to child and family services, including the more recent enhanced funding approach, are flawed and inequitable.
There is clear evidence linking the inequality in services to hardship among First Nations families and to the growing numbers of First Nations children in care.
Dr. Cindy Blackstock said, "This generation of First Nations children deserve an equal chance to grow up safely at home - something the Federal Government deprived many of their parents and grandparents of during the residential school era."
The complaint was filed with the Canadian Human Rights Commission in 2007 by the Assembly of First Nations and First Nations Child and Family Caring Society after the Government of Canada failed to implement two evidence informed solutions to address the problem. Since then the Government of Canada has spent over 3 million dollars in its numerous unsuccessful efforts to get the case dismissed.
Alex Neve, Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada, said, "This case is important for everyone concerned about human rights. The outcome will affect both the quality of vitally important services available to First Nations children as well as the integrity of human rights protection in Canada."
Nathalie Des Rosiers, General Counsel for the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) says, "It is very important that this case move forward, and that issues of discrimination be promptly addressed. What is at stake in this case is the integrity of our human rights regime and its ability to respond meaningfully to allegations of discrimination."
 

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Why tribes do not recommend the DNA swab

Rebecca Tallbear entitled: “DNA, Blood, and Racializing the Tribe”, bearing out what I only inferred:

Detailed discussion of the Bering Strait theory and other scientific theories about the population of the modern-day Americas is beyond the scope of this essay. However, it should be noted that Indian people have expressed suspicion that DNA analysis is a tool that scientists will use to support theories about the origins of tribal people that contradict tribal oral histories and origin stories. Perhaps more important,the alternative origin stories of scientists are seen as intending to weaken tribal land and other legal claims (and even diminish a history of colonialism?) that are supported in U.S. federal and tribal law. As genetic evidence has already been used to resolve land conflicts in Asian and Eastern European countries, this is not an unfounded fear.

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