TORONTO, Feb. 25, 2013 /CNW/ - With the eyes of the world on Canada, the
historic Canadian Human Rights Tribunal starting today will hopefully
bring a resolution to the inequality faced by First Nations' children
in education and other basic human rights.
"We commend the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada
and Executive Director Cindy Blackstock for bringing this case
forward," said Sam Hammond, President of the Elementary Teachers'
Federation of Ontario (ETFO). "This is a 'teachable moment' for
students and all Canadians to learn about, and support, the need for
First Nations' on-reserve children to have the same rights that all
other Canadian children enjoy when it comes to education, health,
housing, and other social supports."
The Caring Society has filed a human rights complaint against the
federal government, alleging that Canada's failure to provide equitable
and culturally-based child welfare services to First Nations' children
on-reserve amounts to discrimination on the basis of race and ethnic
origin. Should the Tribunal decide in favour of the First Nations'
challenge, it has the authority to order the federal government to
remedy the inequities that First Nations face.
Speaking at an ETFO conference on social justice last week, Cindy
Blackstock told participants that "hopefully it will be the last day
that First Nations' children will have to sit in the back of the bus
when it comes to the inequality they face." Blackstock will be the
first speaker at the tribunal.
ETFO has sent information to its 76,000 members on how to follow the
case by signing up to be a witness at http://www.fncaringsociety.ca/i-am-witness. The website also has teaching resources for elementary students.
Since 2005, ETFO has supported the Lieutenant Governor's Summer Literacy
Initiatives for isolated First Nations' communities. Along with being a
key sponsor of the Right To Play Youth Leadership Program in 35 First
Nations' communities, the Federation has also contributed to Shannen's
Dream, a movement to build proper schools on First Nations' reserves.
The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario represents 76,000
elementary public school teachers and education professionals across
the province and is the largest teacher federation in Canada.
SOURCE: Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario
For further information:
Valerie Dugale, ETFO Media Relations, Cell: 416-948-0195