Posts Tagged “Youth”
1. We call upon the federal, provincial, territorial, and Aboriginal governments to commit to reducing the number of Aboriginal children in care by:
i. Monitoring and assessing neglect investigations.
ii. Providing adequate resources to enable Aboriginal communities and child-welfare organizations to keep Aboriginal families together where it is safe to do so, and to keep children in culturally appropriate environments, regardless of where they reside.
iii. Ensuring that social workers and others who conduct child-welfare investigations are properly educated and trained about the history and impacts of residential schools.
iv. Ensuring that social workers and others who conduct child-welfare investigations are properly educated and trained about the potential for Aboriginal communities and families to provide more appropriate solutions to family healing.
v. Requiring that all child-welfare decision makers consider the impact of the residential school experience on children and their caregivers.
It is necessary for the government, at every level, to ensure a reduction in the number of Aboriginal children in care programs by fully investigating abuse allegations. In order to ensure that there are appropriate resources available for Aboriginal families to stay together whenever it may be safe, and to make sure that Aboriginal children have access to a culturally suitable environment whenever possible.
Also, by verifying that social workers, in addition to government workers, are properly trained and briefed on the history and lasting impact of residential school it makes sure that social workers, in addition to government workers, are properly trained and aware of the multiple options for Aboriginal family healing.
It also emphasizes ensuring that all child-welfare workers are aware of the impact of residential school experiences on children as well as their families and caregivers.
2. We call upon the federal government, in collaboration with the provinces and territories, to prepare and publish annual reports on the number of Aboriginal children (First Nations, Inuit, and Métis) who are in care, compared with non-Aboriginal children, as well as the reasons for apprehension, the total spending on preventive and care services by child-welfare agencies, and the effectiveness of various interventions.
The government, at every level, needs to publish an annual report which identifies the amount of Aboriginal children in care, versus non-aboriginal children in care. The reason for care, in addition to the amount of funds given to preventative care, must also be identified.
3. We call upon all levels of government to fully implement Jordan’s Principle.
All levels of government must implement Jordan’s Principle, a policy which is used to resolve jurisdictional disputes within governments over the required funds for government services provided to Aboriginal children.
This is the site of the Canadian Child Welfare Research Portal which provides the various qualitative and quantitative research on the issues addressed in Jordan’s Principle which was created in result of the loss of a child named Jordan’s life in the jurisdictional conflict of Aboriginal youth policy.
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.
Verify that governments at all levels ratify legislation which ensures a particular set standard for the care of Aboriginal children, and that this legislation involves an understanding regarding the circumstances in which Aboriginal children may be apprehended, as well as for custody cases.
The following principles would be included:
- The legislation would allow Aboriginal governments to have jurisdiction over their own child-welfare institutions.
- Confirm that all child-welfare groups take in to consideration the impact and effect of residential schools when making decisions
- Verify that care facilities be culturally appropriate for all Aboriginal children
5. We call upon the federal, provincial, territorial, and Aboriginal governments to develop culturally appropriate parenting programs for Aboriginal families.
5. Call to action number five calls on all levels of government in Canada to develop parenting programs for Aboriginal families that respect cultural differences. This issue is particularly important because a significant portion of Aboriginal parents either cannot afford care for their child or cannot bring their child to work. To implement a solution would not require very much funding and would ensure that Aboriginal children have a respect and admiration for their own culture.
Compiled by: Chris Vanderburgh
- We call upon the federal government to develop with Aboriginal groups a joint strategy to eliminate educational and employment gaps between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians.
7. Call to action number seven calls for all levels of government in Canada to do their utmost to reduce employment and education gaps between Aboriginals and non-aboriginals. Aboriginals and non-aboriginals have historically experienced an enormous gap in income, education, incarceration rates and many other socio-economic areas. The implementation of this particular call to action would more than likely result in these gaps being decreased if not entirely eliminated.
Compiled by: Chris Vanderburgh
- We call upon the federal government to eliminate the discrepancy in federal education funding for First Nations children being educated on reserves and those First Nations children being educated off reserves.
8. Call to action number eight calls for the federal government to eliminate the gap in funding for aboriginals children’s education. Eliminating this gap would result in a better education for aboriginal children which would allow them to pursue post-secondary education ultimately resulting in better opportunities for them as adults. First Nations children under 6 years of age living off reserve are more than twice as likely to live in low income families as compared to other Canadians.
Compiled by: Chris Vanderburgh
- We call upon the federal government to prepare and publish annual reports comparing funding for the education of First Nations children on and off reserves, as well as educational and income attainments of Aboriginal peoples in Canada compared with non- Aboriginal people.
9. Call to action number nine calls on the Federal government to create reports annually on the education funding received for Aboriginal children as well as educational and income comparisons between Aboriginals and non-aboriginals. This call to action would ensure that calls to action numbers seven and eight could be implemented smoothly given that there is a lack of data on the various gaps in income and education between aboriginals and non- aboriginals.
Compiled by: Chris Vanderburgh
33. We call upon the federal, provincial, and territorial governments to recognize as a high priority the need to address and prevent Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), and to develop, in collaboration with Aboriginal people, FASD preventive programs that can be delivered in a culturally appropriate manner.
One big reason this is a problem in Aboriginal communities is because of “colonialism” –John Houston.
Colonialism has cast long last effects on the Aboriginal communities such as bad drinking water, over crowded housing and just poor living conditions. These all contributed to FASD. Recommendation 33 can be related to recommendation 35 and the need for healing centers in Aboriginal communities (especially the north). If Aboriginal people are drinking alcohol it is hard for them to find help. In link below you will see how all it takes for a person to get help is to talk to one person. If we create awareness on this issue it might be easier for Aboriginal to talk about their addiction and get help. If the government were to create programs that involved going on the land this could help FASD. Getting people on the land with an elder can help someone with an alcohol addiction. If more healing centers with elders working in them were available to Aboriginal people and so they had someone to talk to we would see a decrease in FASD. Nature is so important for the healing process. If an Aboriginal person was arrested for public intoxication instead of throwing them in the drunk tank and giving them a fine every time. Another solution would be to set them up with an elder who can bring them on a nature experience which has been proven to help heal.
For some people it is hard to see that they have an addiction and they might be scared to talk. If the government can bring awareness and build healing centers it might be easier for people talk about their problems and reduce FASD problems.
Compiled By: Matt Thibeau
38. We call upon the federal, provincial, territorial, and Aboriginal governments to commit to eliminating the overrepresentation of Aboriginal youth in custody over the next decade.
“One clear concern was that the justice system does not recognize or understand the social and personal realities of the people living in marginalized conditions progressing through it” – John Houston
The residential schools have caused lasting effects and has created bad social environments. The abuse from these schools has caused Aboriginal youth to be deviant too. Just because a youth has become deviant does not mean they are bad. It is because of the residential schools this has caused generations of Aboriginal people to lose their culture.
Aboriginal adults represent about 3 percent of the Canadian population yet about 34 percent of females in prison are Aboriginal women and about 22 percent of men in prison are Aboriginal. One way to cut down on youth and adults from going to prison is a sentencing circle or heeling circle. Instead of throwing a youth in prison because he or she threw a rock at someone’s window put them in a sentencing circle which will include everyone from elders, police, victim parties and accused parties. A sentencing circle will resolve the problem by an agreement between the victim and accused. In this case of the rock being thrown at a window the accused could maybe work for the elder. What this does is it keeps the accused from getting a criminal record but at the same still solves the issue in a successful way.
Statistics in context: Aboriginals in Canada’s prisons, National, Canadian Bar Association
Compiled by: Matthew Thibeau
55. We call upon all levels of government to provide annual reports or any current data requested by the National Council for Reconciliation so that it can report on the progress towards reconciliation. The reports or data would include, but not be limited to:
i. The number of Aboriginal children—including Métis and Inuit children—in care, compared with non-Aboriginal children, the reasons for apprehension, and the total spending on preventive and care services by child-welfare agencies.
ii. Comparative funding for the education of First Nations children on and off reserves.
iii. The educational and income attainments of Aboriginal peoples in Canada compared with nonAboriginal people.
iv. Progress on closing the gaps between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities in a number of health indicators such as: infant mortality, maternal health, suicide, mental health, addictions, life expectancy, birth rates, infant and child health issues, chronic diseases, illness and injury incidence, and the availability of appropriate health services.
v. Progress on eliminating the overrepresentation of Aboriginal children in youth custody over the next decade.
vi. Progress on reducing the rate of criminal victimization of Aboriginal people, including data related to homicide and family violence victimization and other crimes.
vii. Progress on reducing the overrepresentation of Aboriginal people in the justice and correctional systems.
Essentially, the TRC recommends that all levels of government provide annual reports or current date that is requested by the National Council for Reconciliation directly tied to the goal of reconciliation.
These reports and current data would directly relate to current issues like the number of Aboriginal children in care, funding for the education of First Nations children both on and off reserves, educational and income attainments Aboriginal peoples in comparison to non-Aboriginal peoples, the over-representation of Aboriginal peoples in the criminal justice system and more.
The case of wrongfully convicted Donald Marshall who was one of the many Aboriginal peoples victim of the racial prejudice by the Canadian criminal justice system. Marshall was convicted of murder, at 17, and imprisoned for 11 years for a crime he didn’t commit. By the time he was finally released on parole in 1982, he was forever damaged by a miscarriage of justice and years of detention.
“For most Canadians, an unlimited supply of clean water flowing freely from a tap and imperceptibly whisking away their waste at the simple push of a lever is a given; for many First Nations, it’s a luxury their communities can’t afford.”
65. We call upon the federal government, through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, and in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples, post-secondary institutions and educators, and the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation and its partner institutions, to establish a national research program with multi-year funding to advance understanding of reconciliation.
“The Ottawa-based Centre for the Study of Living Standards estimates that more than $170-billion could be added to Canada’s economy by 2026 if natives achieved the same education levels as other Canadians.” – D’arcy Levesque (Globe and Mail)
Reconciliation has proven to be a challenge throughout Canadian history. One reason why there has been little little progress towards building a harmonious and respectful society is because of the lack of awareness of the honest realities of Indigenous and colonial histories. A research program is essential for successful reconciliation in order to advance wide spread understandings, access necessary information and raise awareness of the issue. What can we do to make “our best” better, and understand the importance of reconciliation? Involving post-secondary institutions in a research program of this nature would get more youth involved and informed of the subject of reconciliation. Educated youth are vital reconciliation because they are the future. A research program would also give those involved opportunities to work closely with Indigenous peoples and build meaningful relationships. It is important that we accomplish this goal in order to ensure our future generations have the knowledge to foster reconciliation. How would Canada look today if past generations were involved in a this program?
The Vancouver Sun – Reconciliation through Education: Justice Murray Sinclair’s appeal <http://blogs.vancouversun.com/2012/11/28/reconciliation-through-education-justice-murray-sinclairs-appeal/>
Compiled by: Laura Moore
66. We call upon the federal government to establish multi-year funding for community-based youth organizations to deliver programs on reconciliation, and establish a national network to share information and best practices.
“A knowledge of history leads to understanding, and understanding leads to respect. Reconciliation follows.” – Justice Murray Sinclair”
One of the most necessary ways we can create a better future for aboriginals is by providing supportive education and organizations.The implementation of aboriginal support groups and national networks will address this need through educate youth in aboriginal affairs and connect people all over the country. Within Canada 30% of off-reserve aboriginals fail out of high school, 58% of on-reserve fail out, and a total of 70% fail out in the province of Manitoba. These numbers are staggering especially when comparison to the 10% drop-out rate of non-aboriginal Canadians. Another factor to consider is that the employment rate of First Nations without a high school education is just 25%, with a median annual income of just $12,000. For this recommendation to truly succeed, Canada needs to do a better job in the public education sector by creating a more successful and motivating environment for First Nations students; to make them want to succeed and break away from age old trends.
The Globe and Mail – Widening education gap leaves aboriginal Canadians further behind <http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/education/widening-education-gap-leaves-aboriginal-canadians-further-behind/article14738527/>
We call upon Canadian journalism programs and media schools to require education for all students on the history of Aboriginal peoples, including the history and legacy of residential schools, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Treaties and Aboriginal rights, Indigenous law, and Aboriginal–Crown relations.
Parents of First Nations students on reserves express the fear that their children are failing to develop a positive sense of their identity and that curricula rarely reflects their children’s true history, diverse cultures and languages and their contributions to Canada.
The call would require aboriginal authors and historians that document the treaties and laws for students. University of Saskatchewan has implemented centers to promote strategies and solutions for legal issues and allowing financial and resources for those in the community and students of the school alike.
Compiled By: Aaron Furbert