Mike Myers: A landmark decision for the future of Native children

"The dreams of First Nations children matter too." Photo by Cindy Blackstock / Facebook

Mike Myers (Seneca Nation) of the Network for Native Futures discusses a Canadian Human Rights Tribunal decision on the treatment of Native children in the child welfare system:
In its legally binding decision, the tribunal found First Nations are adversely impacted by the services provided by the government and, in some cases, denied services as a result of the government’s involvement.

‘The panel acknowledges the suffering of those First Nations children and families who are or have been denied an equitable opportunity to remain together or to be reunited in a timely manner,’ the ruling said.”

What has been found is not limited to child welfare concerns but cuts across the board into every aspect of federal control of Indigenous governance and lives. The next challenge should go after the federally supported schools that are equally chronically underfunded and denied any chance to grow and improve.

Hand-in-hand with education needs to be a housing challenge. The incredibly disastrous housing found in Indigenous territories is most certainly not of our design or desire.

Now comes the test of the new federal government in Canada and all of its rhetoric about nation-to-nation and honoring Indigenous rights. Here is the opportunity to do the right thing, not just talk about it.

Get the Story:
Mike Myers: The Binds that Tie (Indian Country Today 1/31)

Canadian Human Rights Tribunal Decision:
First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada et al. v. Attorney General of Canada (for the Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada) (January 26, 2016)

Another Opinion:
Neil Macdonald: A chequebook alone won't solve First Nations problems (CBC 1/27)

Also Today:
Couchiching First Nation chief lauds child welfare funding ruling (CBC 1/27)
Aboriginal child welfare ruling could mean better services on reserves (CBC 1/27)
Canada discriminates against children on reserves, tribunal rules (CBC 1/26)
First Nations leader calls Manitoba a 'child apprehension machine' (CBC 1/26)
Human rights tribunal ruling should prompt overhaul of funding formula, says prof (CBC 1/26)
P.E.I. Mi'kmaq Confederacy demands action on child welfare services (CBC 1/26)

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