TORONTO, May 12, 2014 /CNW/ - Ontario's Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth supports the report released today by James Anaya, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous peoples. Earlier this year, the Provincial Advocate released a report by First Nations youth that urges all levels of government and First Nations leaders to partner with young people to create safer, healthier communities for northern remote fly-in First Nations communities.
The young people leading Feathers of Hope were honoured to have an opportunity to meet the rapporteur during his visit to Canada to talk about the issues identified in, Feathers of Hope: A First Nations Youth Action Plan. The youth told him about their recommendations to address hopelessness in their communities and he assured them that they are on the right track and encouraged them to continue their work.
The Aboriginal population is the youngest and fastest growing segment of Canada's population, yet the children are among the most disadvantaged of all children in the country and struggle for rights that come more easily to non-Aboriginal children.
"I believe the report is a call for a coordinated response by federal, provincial and First Nations peoples to address the systemic dimensions of colonialism that deny many First Nations people the ability to shape and inform the social and economic factors that must be present to build and sustain healthy communities." said Irwin Elman, Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth.
"We need to pay close attention to the observations made by the rapporteur," says Elman. "We also need to listen to the voice and perspective of Aboriginal youth who are the future leaders of our country. We thank Mr. Anaya for his work and hope the new rapporteur continues to closely monitor Canada's progress."
The Office of the Provincial Advocate reports directly to the Legislature and provides an independent voice for children and youth, including children with special needs and First Nations children. The Provincial Advocate receives and responds to concerns from children and youth who are seeking or receiving services under the Child and Family Services Act and the Education Act (Provincial and Demonstration Schools). The Provincial Advocate identifies systemic problems involving children, conducts reviews and provides education and advice on the issue of advocacy and the rights of children. The Office is guided by the principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and has a strong commitment to youth involvement.
SOURCE: Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth
For further information:
Fiona Taylor, Tel: 416-420-7728, Email: Fiona_taylor@live.com