February 23, 2017
The Liberal government must end discriminatory practices and increase funding for First Nations child welfare services in the upcoming federal budget, prominent First Nations advocates said Thursday as they marked 10 years since filing a human rights complaint on the issue.
Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde and Cindy Blackstock, executive director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, said the government has failed to comply with landmark findings from the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.
“The very lives of those kids are on the line,” Blackstock said at a news conference, pointing to two compliance orders issued by the tribunal following its original findings last year.
“There is no excuse for this type of incompetence within the government when it comes to the well-being of 163,000 children … I expect far better, we all expect far better and God help us; let’s do it for these kids in Canada’s 150th birthday.”
In January 2016, the quasi-judicial tribunal found the federal government discriminates against First Nations children and families in the delivery of services on reserve.