Call to Action #4 - National Standards for Indigenous Child Welfare
6 years after its release, I am finally digging into the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 calls to action. There are 89 days left in the year and the goal is to read and reflect on at least one call to action daily for the remainder of the year. Thank you for joining me on this journey. May our endeavour together be a catalyst for lasting progress and affect meaningful change in Canada.
The fourth Call to Action, under the heading Legacy focusing on Child Welfare is:
“4. We call 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: i. Affirm the right of Aboriginal governments to establish and maintain their own child-welfare agencies. ii. Require all child-welfare agencies and courts to take the residential school legacy into account in their decision making. iii. Establish, as an important priority, a requirement that placements of Aboriginal children into temporary and permanent care be culturally appropriate.”
The following excerpts and links will shed some light on where we stand, to date, in terms of our response as Canadians and governments to call to action number four:
“During the summer and fall of 2018, the Government of Canada engaged with national, regional and community organizations representing First Nations, Inuit and Métis as well as Treaty Nations, self-governing First Nations and Inuit, provinces and territories, experts and people with lived experience, including Elders, youth and women. 65 engagement sessions were held across the country, with nearly 2,000 participants. These sessions were part of the co-development of legislation that contributes to comprehensive reform of Indigenous child and family services.”
“In Canada, 52.2% of children in foster care are Indigenous, but account for only 7.7% of the child population according to Census 2016. This means 14,970 out of 28,665 foster children in private homes under the age of 15 are Indigenous.
Results from the 2011 National Household Survey also show that 38% of Indigenous children in Canada live in poverty, compared to 7% for non-Indigenous children.”