BC’s Indigenous Child & Family Services Directors welcome Canada’s commitment to set aside $40 billion for First Nations child welfare. We thank Cindy Blackstock, the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, and the Assembly of First Nations for their years of tireless advocacy on behalf of our children and families.
We are cautiously optimistic that the victims of discrimination in the child welfare system will be properly compensated and that the ongoing negotiations will yield funding that reflects a commitment to substantive equality and addresses critical funding gaps.
Urgent and unmet needs in Indigenous Child and Family service provision include:
- funding to address poverty;
- culturally informed prevention services; and
- Information technology and capital.
Addressing these immediate gaps is a necessary step toward delivering better results for First Nations children, families and communities. Going forward, long term reform of the child welfare system must be premised on ensuring that discrimination is erased from the system.
“Yesterday’s announcement is an historic moment of recognition of past wrongs and illustrates a clear commitment to redress” said Mary Teegee, Chairperson of the Indigenous Child and Family Services Directors Society.
“We will hold the government to that commitment in our ongoing negotiations and we will not settle for anything less than what the children deserve.”