OTTAWA, Feb. 22, 2013 /CNW/ - Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National
Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo will make an opening statement at the
Canadian Human Rights Tribunal Monday, further advocating and
supporting the need for equity and fairness for First Nation children,
as the Tribunal begins its hearings on First Nation child welfare.
"There are more First Nation children in care today than during the
height of residential schools. This is completely unacceptable. The
voices of our young people are gaining strength in the demand for
fundamental and transformative change for all First Nations in ways
that will unlock potential and support success," said AFN National
Chief Shawn Atleo. "I look forward to a fair and independent process
and more importantly getting to the work of implementing remedies to
secure equity, fairness and the supports our children deserve."
"Equity for First Nation children and families is essential and
necessary to create safety, security and to ensure our children have
the opportunity to succeed. All Canadians should be deeply concerned to
learn that services for these First Nation children and their families
on-reserve fall short of those provided to other Canadian children,"
said National Chief Atleo. "Short changing our kids and families has a
direct impact on every aspect of our communities' broader
socio-economic realties and opportunities. First Nations stand firm in
protecting our rights and our children. We will be vigilant, and we
will not let them down. All Canadians can and should play a role in
achieving remedies that ensure families and children have every
opportunity to succeed. Success demands that Governments work
respectively and transparently with First Nations guided by the
principles of fairness, respect for rights and honouring
"This case was filed as a last resort after successive governments have
failed to implement the solutions that would help First Nations
children stay safely in their families," says FNCFCS Executive Director
Dr. Cindy Blackstock. "The Government of Canada needs to do what caring
adults do as a matter of course - put children first and end the
inequities. We cannot, as a people or a country, afford to discriminate
against children as a matter of public policy"
On February 27, 2007 AFN and the First Nations Child and Family Caring
Society of Canada launched a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights
Commission. The complaint alleges that the Government of Canada had a
longstanding pattern of providing less government funding for child
welfare services to First Nations children on reserves than is provided
to non-Aboriginal children resulting in inequitable services.
The hearings are expected to continue until August 2013.
The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing
First Nations citizens in Canada. Follow us on Twitter @AFN_Updates,
SOURCE: ASSEMBLY OF FIRST NATIONS
For further information:
Alain Garon AFN Bilingual Communications Officer 613-241-6789, ext 382; 613-292-0857 or firstname.lastname@example.org