Removing children from their families under the “best interests of the child” often ignores a child’s cultural identity and alienates children and youth from the communities that care for them. The conditions that lead to children being taken away from their families result from social support systems that have repeatedly failed Indigenous communities.
An alarming 70.5 percent of Indigenous youth experiencing homelessness have been involved with child protection services. Furthermore, 60 percent of homeless youth report experiencing violent victimization. Among them, young women and girls are at a greater risk of getting involved with the justice system.
The truth is that Canada’s child welfare system does not adequately support Indigenous children and youth. These inadequate support systems put them at risk of exploitation, abuse, violence, and premature death.
A critical change is required in the child welfare system to support families and communities so that all children can be safe, healthy, and cared for by those who love them. Working to keep Indigenous children in their communities is essential, and we need to make this a priority.
The truth can be hard to see.
Positive relationships and allyship between non-Indigenous and Indigenous Peoples can exist. The first step to building these relationships is for Canadians to learn about the colonial past and how it influences our society, and help get the message out. Once you have read the reports, we encourage you to share this information with your networks by connecting them to this page.