The United Nations Development Program consistently has ranked Canada as one of the best countries in the world to live based on the criteria of.... (read first arrow)However, Canada’s history of colonization and displacement of its Aboriginal populations tells a story of centuries of what is listed on this other arrow. (read second arrow)
Today, we will examine the rights of Aboriginal children and discuss whether or not Canada has lived up to its responsibilities of ensuring equitable access to and support for the rights of Aboriginal Children. We will also talk about to what extent that Canada complies with the United Nations Convention on the rights of Aboriginal children.This presentation will also address the collective resistance of Aboriginal people in the face of continued domination by the Canadian government.
Birth: Born to single mother and you don’t know your biological dad. Due to this, you are not considered a Status Indian according to the Indian Act.Put into foster home with frequent visits maternal grandparents.Move back home with mom and her new husband of a different race then you.You can’t communicate with your great grand parents because you have lost your mother tongue.Parents have alcoholic and drug problems.Parents argue and fight a lot. Your new dad resents you because you are not his.Your community has a lot of social issues like alcoholism and drug abuse. Your siblings live in other communities.The school sees bruises on you and you are once again tossed into Child and Family ServicesIn fact you move from family to family within the Child and Family Services. You live in 34 different families in 10 years. In 2 of your homes, you have had to fight off the sexual advances by an older relative of the family. You quit showering as a means to fend off these unwanted advances.The present home you are in has you work hard. Every Saturday, you have cut and pile wood even if it is freezing outside. In fact, you have lots of work to do, like baby-sitting hours on end while your foster family goes gambling.Age 12: Your mom dies from jumping out of car while she was arguing with her then boyfriend. Your grandparents die one by one due to diabetes and cancer. Age 13: You have to move to Thunder Bay to attend grade nine. It’s a struggle because you have not had inadequate education. You struggle to fit in and join your friends in binge drinking and smoking up behind the Shopper’s Drug mart at the Macintyre shopping Center.You get beat up because someone think you are trying to steal their boyfriend or girlfriend. Because you were thrown in the river, you swim across using the Shopper’s lighted sign to guide your way.The police arrive, you are thrown into the drunk tank at the police station but not before the police get in a few jabs and punches. You start to fight back. As a last result you might the nearest leg belong to the policeman. Finally you are tazed. What kind of social issues do you think you will have as a result of your life experiences thus far?
The current generation of First Nations children and youth are experiencing the multigenerational effects of a colonial system that was based on the government policies designed to destroy Aboriginal cultures, traditions, and ceremonies. The residential school system targeted Aboriginal children and forced them to reject their own languages and heritage and even their own families. People forgot how to parent over several generations.Child and Welfare Services took up were the Residential School System left off and have contributed to further family breakdown. The systems resulting from historical trauma manifest themselves as unresolved great experienced across generations; such responses include high rates of alcoholism & substance abuse, suicidal thoughts & acts, anxiety, low self-esteem, anger and difficulty expressing emotions. 3. Social manifestations... PovertyCrimeLow education attainmentHigh rates of homicideAccidental deaths that are tragicChild abuseDomestic Abuse and Violence4. The early mass violation of human rights led to the widespreaddisruption of cultures, families and communities, and this has contirbuted to the political, cultural, spiritual, and economic decline of indigenous nations in Canada.
Awareness of the historical effects have spearhead the development and establishment of Aboriginal Child and Family services to respond to the needs of Aboriginal Children and their families.There are 120 First Nations child welfare agencies across the country, the vast majority of which receive their authority to deliver child welfare programs through provincial/territorial child welfare statues. TheChallenge that the Native Child and Family Agencies have are to Adapt services that reflect holistic, interdependent, and communal rights framework of the cultural communities. Concepts of “child removal” or apprehensions are foreign due to Communal child rearing during times of stress.Western System of child care removal was only to be used to respond to isolated incidents of child maltreatment. It was never intended to be the principal community development intervention in communities that had be devastated by colonization. Aboriginal-driven community development, child removal will continue to be a symptomatic response to colonization, one that fails to redress the etiological factors that have contributed to the maltreatment of child and future generations of children will continue to grow up away from home.
The overrepresentation of Aboriginal Children in permanent care has been attributed to past discrimination. The weakening of cultural identity has led to a variety of self-destructive tendencies, including substance abuse and violent behaviour. The result is disability rates among Aboriginal children that are twice as high as for non-Aboriginal children.
The impact of historical policies and the need for Aboriginal solutions are also in high suicide rates among First Nation youth. The NorthernAnishinaabeAski Nation al so known as the NAAN territory is made up of 50 communities. Pikangikum-In the past 2 years, there have been 16 suicides in the community400 homes have no water and sewage, 700 students attend schools in temporary portableshousing shortages grow each year. 200 new homes are needed.Weagamow (in the past 2 months)-a 13 year old was sniffing gas and set fire to himself.-ran through the community- Husband and wife of 6 children die do to complications
A young girl will continue to be sexually abused because substance abuse has taken hold of her family... An baby boy will continue to be neglected because the only social worker has too many cases, enough for 10 workers... A depressed teen develops a drug problem and ends up in jail because there is no place for him to go for help and no to help him stay in school... A culture will die slowly and invisibly if we fail to protect and ensure the rights of our children...
Aboriginal People Canada -Dominion -Best country to live in -Discrimination -High life expectancy -Displacement -High standard of living -Discrimination-Low level of internal conflict -Extreme Poverty -High school enrolment -Colonization -Assimilation
Today we will discuss:•Which social problems?•Historical Context•Key Issues for Aboriginal Children and Families•High suicide rates for Aboriginal People•The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child•The erosion of Children’s rights through theIndian Act•Bill C-31•Effects of Poverty•Conclusion
1. Residential School System• Reject language, heritage and families• Parents forgot how to parent responsibly2. Child and Welfare Services3. Social manifestations4. Violation of human rights
120 First Nation child welfare agencies Challenge: Adapt services that reflect holistic, interdependent, and communal rights framework of the cultural communities Concepts of “child removal” or apprehensions are foreign due to Communal child rearing during times of stress Western System of child care removal was only to be used to respond to isolated incidents of child maltreatment.
25,000 Aboriginal children are in the child welfare: 3x more then those who attended residential school 71.5% of these children have special needs 3/4s of these children become permanent wards and never go home
Sara’s mom is a single mother. Sara is in grade 2. She was held back a couple years because of her maturity. So far, Sara has attended school and has a paraprofessional to help her in school to get around. There are no Spec. Ed. at Sara’s school. The teacher does not make any adaptations for Sara’s assignments. She gets the same work that everybody else gets. What would you do if you were Sara’s mom and you living on the reserve without any resources?
Sara’s Aunt and Uncle moved to Toronto. Sara’s mom made arrangements for the Aunt and Uncle to foster Sara in Toronto. Sara’s aunt and uncle have help her adjust and live in the city. Sara attends a Special Education for the Blind in Toronto and is getting her needs met. Sara’s mom makes the effort to call her and plans to visit her every 4 months at least.
The impact of historical policies and the need for Aboriginal solutions are also in high suicide rates among First Nation youth. Pikangikum: Weagamow/North Caribou:
From the Reserve Kaila is 10 months old Recommended by doctors that he have a liver transplant. Parents do not agree due to traditional beliefs Does “Child and Family Services” have the right apprehend Kaila and over-ride parent’s original decision to reject transplant?
From a First Nation Community in Saskatchewan Kaila is 10 months old Parents bring him to hospital because of bruising on his skin Pediatric gastroenterologist informed the parents that their son’s only chance of survival would be to receive a liver transplant. 70%-75% chance of survival in the first year. Post-transplant, dropping to 60-65% after 5 years. The parents were a well-informed. Parents were articulate and understood the potential benefits and risks of their son undergoing a transplant (assuming an organ became available). After much soul searching, the parents decided to forgo the transplant specifically due to cultural beliefs. Also the parents had serious concerns about the potential long-term effects of the immunosuppressive drugs on their child and took the view that his body would be “like a war zone” for the rest of his life. The pediatric gastroenterologist consulted by the parents believed that the parents’ decision to deny their son the possibility of a liver transplant was unreasonable. He notified the local child welfare agency, and the department of social services petitioned the court to temporarily apprehend the child so that consent could be obtained for a transplant. The parents took their two children and fled the jurisdiction until the matter could be settled in court. A judge heard testimony from both the parents of K’aila as well as several specialist physicians. Despite the initial physician’s determination that a liver transplant was in the child’s best interest, all expert witnesses did not support this. Other testifying physicians stated that they could not fault the decision of the parents, given the uncertain course of the surgery as well as the potential severe and long-term effects of the necessary immunosuppressive drugs. The judge denied the petition of the social services agency, and the parents returned home with their children. K’aila died peacefully in his mother’s arms 6 weeks after this ruling.
Jordans Principle is a child first principle to resolve jurisdictional disputes within, and between governments, regarding payment for government services provided to First Nations children. Under this principle, where a jurisdictional dispute arises between two government parties (provincial/territorial or federal) or between two departments or ministries of the same government, regarding payment for services for a Status Indian child which are otherwise available to other Canadian children, the government or ministry/department of first contact must pay for the services without delay or disruption. The paying government party can then refer the matter to jurisdictional dispute mechanisms. In Canada, there is a lack of clarity between the federal and provincial/territorial governments around who should pay for government services for First Nations children even when the services is normally available to other children. Too often the practice was for the governments to deny or delay the childs receipt of a service(s) pending resolution of the payment dispute.
Jordans Principle applies to all government services and states that when a jurisdictional dispute arises, the government of first contact with the child must fund the service and then resolve the jurisdictional dispute later. Jordans principle is reflective of the non-discrimination provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and Canadian domestic law that does not allow differential treatment on the basis of race or ethnic origin. Private Members Motion 296 in support of Jordans Principle was passed unanimously in the House of Commons on December 12, 2007. Some provinces have partially implemented Jordans Principle in the area of children with complex medical needs but more work needs to be done to eliminate the impact of jurisdictional disputes on First Nations childrens access to all government services.
Jordans Principle was established in response to the death of 5-year-old Jordan River Anderson, a child from Norway House First Nation who suffered from Carey Fineman Ziter Syndrome, a rare muscular disorder that required years of medical treatment in a Winnipeg hospital. After spending the first two years of his life in a hospital, doctors felt he could return home. However, the federal and provincial government could not resolve who was financially responsible for the necessary home care in order for Jordan to return to his family in his home community 800 kilometres north of Winnipeg. After spending over two years in hospital unnecessarily while governments argued over who should pay for his at home care, Jordan died in hospital in 2005.
The CRC provides as a framework to improve, promote, and protect the basic human rights of all children1. Non-discrimination which means that states commit themselves to respect and ensure the rights of all children in their jurisdiction without discrimination of any kind;2. The “best interests of the child” which means that the interests of the child are recognized as paramount and that budgetary allocations should give priority to children and to the safekeeping of their rights;3. Respect for children’s views and for their rights to participate in all aspects of democratic society which asserts that children are not passive recipients but active contributors to the decisions that affect their lives4. The children’s right to survival and development which claims the right for children to realize their fullest potential through a range of strategies, from meeting their health, nutrition, and education needs to supporting their personal and social development
Findings indicate that First Nation children continue to experience unacceptable and disproportionate levels of risk across all the identified dimensions and that polices developed by the government to redress these risks remain largely unimplemented. Canada clearly falls short in its treatment of Aboriginal children. How? Aboriginal peoples continue to live far below the standard of living of the general Canadian population. Whether they are living on or off reserve, Aboriginal children’s living conditions fall far short of those promise in the CRC.
How do you think the Indian Act oppressesand discriminates First Nation children?
DEFINES who is and who is not a STATUS INDIAN and therefore entitled to specific rights that arise from the historical relationship between Aboriginal peoples and Canadian government. CREATES divisions between Aboriginal peoples in and effort to restrict the number of Aboriginal peoples fro whom Canada will exercises certain obligations DIMINISHES the rights of future generations of Aboriginal children.
Drawn up in 1985 to try and stop this discrimination against first Nation women.Native woman + white men=Native women lose ALL status rights*Children did not have status rightsNative men + White women = White women became status.*Children had full status rights.
The social economic conditions experienced by many on-reserve First Nations people are similar to those experienced by families in developing countries. Pervasive poverty, substandard housing conditions, widespread alcohol and solvent abuse involving adults and children, and high suicide rates among youth are the resultant stark realities. Aboriginal families experience an extremely high rate of hardship. Aboriginal families were characterized by ...less housing and greater dependence on social assistance, rates of alcohol and drug abuse, and being investigated more often for neglect or emotional maltreatment
All Aboriginal children continue to suffer disproportionately from high levels of child abuse and sexual exploitation and from a a child welfare system that fails to adequately protect them through culturally appropriate services. Aboriginal child welfare agencies should be given the resources and the funding to ensure that they rights of Aboriginal children under their care and jurisdiction are upheld and respected.