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Canadian Council of Child and Youth Advocates – Statement regarding Indigenous child welfare

by ahnationtalk on January 31, 2018159 Views

TORONTO, Jan. 31, 2018  – Following last week’s emergency meeting on Indigenous child welfare in Ottawa, convened by Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott and Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett, the Canadian Council of Child and Youth Advocates (CCCYA) has issued the following statement:

As independent child advocates from nine provinces and two territories, we are dedicated to promoting and fostering respect for the rights of all children and youth and, in particular, their fundamental rights to health, safety, education and well-being.

Federal Ministers and others have stated that the over-representation of Indigenous children and youth in care in Canada has reached “crisis” proportions. We acknowledge that it presents a significant challenge for our country, compounded by the legacy of colonization, residential schools, racism and extreme poverty.

We recognize that addressing this over-representation is not the sole responsibility of the federal government or a single province, territory, Indigenous nation or organization. Finding solutions is a shared responsibility requiring comprehensive and coordinated attention and action across the country. It must involve community consultation and include the voices of children and youth who continue to be negatively impacted by these unresolved disparities.

In reply to the Ministers’ comments and the reasons for this meeting, we respond as privileged witnesses. In our jurisdictions, we hear daily from Indigenous children, youth and their families about their experiences in the child welfare system. We stand with children and youth, and hope that their voices are heard directly. As members of the CCCYA, we agree to the following:

  1. We recognize that coordinated solutions with both immediate and long-term actions are required to improve the living conditions and well-being of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis children and youth in Canada. We call for immediate and long-term action to address the social determinants of health for these children and youth, including adequate housing, elimination of poverty, improvements to infrastructure, and ensuring clean water and food security.
  2. We are committed to a process for change that will support reconciliation.
  3. We believe that the voices of children and youth are integral to any process designed to improve their lives.
  4. We believe that Indigenous peoples have the inherent right to self-determination, including the right to care for their children.
  5. As the CCCYA expressed through our Declaration of Reconciliation at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s closing events in June 2015, we call for the implementation of the TRC’s Calls to Action. We acknowledge the negative impact that colonization, residential schools, the ’60s Scoop and the current child welfare system have had on First Nations, Inuit, and Métis children and youth.
  6. We believe that the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is the cornerstone of all children’s rights and that its implementation must be informed by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

About the Canadian Council of Child and Youth Advocates
The Canadian Council of Child and Youth Advocates is an alliance of legislatively mandated advocates for the rights of children and youth. These advocates may operate under various titles (e.g. Advocate, Representative, Ombudsman, Commissioner), but all are official representatives in their particular provinces and territories. All CCCYA members are independent statutory officers who report directly to the Legislative Assembly of their respective jurisdictions. Each CCCYA member office is established by legislation to operate in a manner that is independent from government authority or control. Council includes members from the nine provinces and two territories of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ontario, Québec, Saskatchewan, and Yukon.

Canadian Council of Child & Youth Advocates
CONFIDENTIAL Contact List

Jurisdiction

CCCYA MEMBER

COMMUNICATIONS CONTACT

ALBERTA
Office of the Child and Youth Advocate
Suite 600
9925 109 Street NW
Edmonton, AB  T5K 2J8

Del Graff

Child and Youth Advocate

Tim Chander

Communications Manager

Direct: 780.638.4064

BRITISH COLUMBIA
Representative for Children and Youth
4th Floor, 1019 Wharf Street
Victoria, BC  V8W 2Y9

Mailing: P.O. Box 9207 Stn Prov Govt,
Victoria, BC  V8W 9J1

Bernard Richard
Representative for Children and Youth

Jeff Rud

Direct: 250.356.0835

Cell:     250.216.4725

Jeff.rud@rcybc.ca  

MANITOBA
The Office of the Children’s Advocate
100-346 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, MB  R3C 0C3

Daphne Penrose

Children’s Advocate

Ainsley Krone
Direct  204.988.7475
204.988.7440

akrone@childrensadvocate.mb.ca

NEW BRUNSWICK
Child and Youth Advocate
Défenseur des enfants et de la jeunesse
548 York Street
PO Box 6000

Fredericton, NB   E3B 5H1

Norman J. Bosse, QC

Child & Youth Advocate

Travis Daley

Communications Coordinator

Tel: (506)-453-2789

travis.daley@gnb.ca 

NEWFOUNDLAND & LABRADOR

Advocate for Children and Youth
193 LeMarchant Road

St. John’s, NL   A1C 2H5

Jackie Lake-Kavanagh
Advocate for Children and Youth

Wilma MacInnis

Direct 709-753-3888

WilmaMacInnis@ocya.nl.ca

NOVA SCOTIA
Office of the Ombudsman, Youth Services
Suite 700, 5670 Spring Garden Road
P.O. Box 2152
Halifax, NS  B3J 3B7

William A. Smith, Ombudsman

Ron Crocker
Direct 902.424.2011

Ron.Crocker@novascotia.ca

NUNAVUT

Representative for Children and Youth

PO Box 488

Iqaluit, NUNAVUT X0A 0H0

Sherry McNeil-Mulak

Representative for Children and Youth

Kim Foster

Manager of Communication and Public Awareness

Direct 867-975-5091

mbertrand@rcynu.ca 

ONTARIO
Ontario Child Advocate
Suite 2200, 401 Bay Street

Toronto  ON  M7A 0A6

Irwin Elman

Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth

Akihiko Tse akihiko.tse@provincialadvocate.on.ca

Cell: 647-458-1204

Tel: 416-325-5994

QUEBEC
Commission des droits de la personne
et des droits de la jeunesse
360, rue Saint-Jacques, 2e étage
Montréal, QC  H2Y 1P5

Camil Picard
Vice – president (Youth)

Geneviève Dorais-Beauregard

Directrice adjointe éducation-coopération et communications

Téléphone : 514-873-5146 (poste 211)

Genevieve.Dorais-Beauregard@cdpdj.qc.ca

SASKATCHEWAN

Advocate for Children and Youth

500 – 350 3rd Avenue North

Saskatoon, SK S7K 6G7

Mr. Corey O’Soup

Advocate for Children and Youth

Dan Harder

Communications Coordinator

Ph: 306-933-6700

dharder@saskadvocate.ca

YUKON

Yukon Children and Youth Advocate
Office

Unit 19, 2070 2nd Avenue

Whitehorse, YK  Y1A 1B1

Annette King

Child & Youth Advocate

Bengie Clethero

Deputy Advocate

Ph:   867.456.5577

Bengie.clethero@ycao.ca

NT5

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