Protect Indigenous children and families in Canada in keeping them together

Protect Indigenous children and families in Canada in keeping them together

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“Every day in this country, on our watch, someone walks into a home, or perhaps a hospital room, where a First Nations or Inuit or Metis mother has given birth, and that baby, toddler or child is taken away from their family,” said Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott at the end of 2018, in an announcement that Canada will work with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis to develop new child welfare legislation. Despite this, no concrete, legal action has been taken yet. That needs to change. 


All across Canada, in our history and today, Indigenous families are broken up by child and family services. Indigenous children are separated from their families, culture, communities, and home and placed into a foster-care at a disproportionate rate. While only making up 7.7% of the child population in Canada, Indigenous children make up 52.2% of the children in foster care. Their child welfare system is also severely underfunded. Compared to non-Indigenous systems, they receive 38% less funding from the government.


These are staggering rates, but they do not mean that Indigenous families are just more abusive and unsafe for children than other families. Studies with Canadian child welfare data find that neglect is the main reason that Indigenous children enter the child welfare system. This neglect stems from chronic family concerns such as mental health issues, substance abuse, and poverty to name a few examples, all of which are problems that Canada has inflicted onto these communities. These problems exist because of residential schools, the Sixties Scoop, Indigenous overrepresentation in the prison system, and the other ways that Canada has wronged and mistreated Indigenous groups. 


Rather than supporting and protecting Indigenous communities/families with issues that Canada has caused, Canada is instead repeating history. This is the Sixties Scoop all over again; a practice from the 1950s to the 1980s, where the Canadian government took children from Indigenous families and placed them in foster care and adoption. 


These children deserve better; certainly not the higher rates of substance abuse, unemployment, incarceration, and lower education that children in foster care are subjected to. These families deserve better; certainly not the underfunding from the government into not only their child welfare system, but their education, healthcare, and water and sanitation. 


Indigenous peoples deserve better. They have for a long time.


We ask Canada's Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, to take immediate action to stop the separation and disruption of Indigenous families. We ask him to:

  • Properly fund Indigenous child welfare systems
  • Deliver immediately on the $40,000 compensation per child affected by the on-reserve child welfare system
  • Give First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples full jurisdiction over their child and family services

Join the movement in supporting and keeping Indigenous children, families, and communities together. Sign and share this petition today.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 500!
At 500 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!