Indigenous Children in Care

Posted on October 2, 2017

The Canadian Council of Child and Youth Advocates (the Council) submits this Special Report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (Committee) to highlight the critical circumstances facing Aboriginal children today. The Council is a national alliance of child advocates legally appointed by the Canadian provinces and territories. The Council members’ mandates include promoting and protecting children’s human rights, including the rights of Aboriginal children. In our role as advocates for Aboriginal children, and through their voices, we have identified critical systemic challenges impacting Aboriginal children’s lives and requiring urgent attention. This awareness has led us to contribute to the Committee’s review of Canada’s 2009 report4 by submitting this Special Report. We ask the Committee to consider our report, including our recommendations directed at improving the lives of these, and all, children.

Canada is Sending a Generation of Indigenous Children to Jail (Huffington Post, July 2018)

Indigenous Youth Need to be at Home and in the Community, not in Jail (CBC News, June 2018)

Child Removal Erodes Indigenous Communities (iPolitics, June 2018)

Indigenous Activist Draws Parallels Between Residential Schools and Children Detailed at US Boarder (CBC News, June 2018)

Little difference between U.S. child detention and CFS says Indigenous advocate (CBC News, June 2018)

Jane Philpott: On Canada’s own crisis of separating kids from parents (Maclean’s, June 2018)

Nearly Half of Youth Incarcerated are Indigenous: Data Released by Statistics Canada Shows Aboriginal Youth Made up 46% of Admissions to Correctional Services, While Only
Make up 8% of the Population (Global News, June 2018)

Committee Recommends Changes for Indigenous Inmates (Law Times News, June 2018)

Changes Slowly Coming to Indigenous Child Welfare in B.C. – Part five of a series (The Tyee, May 2018)

Issues in Child Welfare – Part four of a series (The Tyee, May 2018)

Lessons from Care – Part three of a series (The Tyee, May 2018)

Government Falling Short of Indigenous Child Welfare Crisis – Part two of a series (The Tyee, May 2018)

How Canada Created a Crisis in Indigenous Child Welfare – Part one of a series (The Tyee, May 2018)

Research Project Looks at the History of Indigenous Children in Care (Winnipeg Sun, May 2018)

Indigenous Youth Need Help Now (The Spec, May 2018)

Apologies Are Fine, But Indigenous Children Need Help Now (The Star, May 2018)

Sixties Scoop Survivors Raise Objections Over $750M Class Action Settlement (The Star, May 2018)

Indigenous Children Overrepresented in Canada’s Foster Care System (Maclean’s, 2018)

Manitoba Judge Urges Changes to Care System After Indigenous Teen’s Suicide Death (Global and Mail, April 2018)

Over-representation of Indigenous and Black Children in Ontario Child Welfare (Ontario Human Rights Commission, April 2018)

Indigenous Former Foster Care Wards Advocate to Overhaul ‘Shameful’ System (Huffington Post, April 2018)

Part 1: B.C.’s Invisible Families (The Star, April 2018)

Part 2: B.C.’s Invisible Families (The Star, April 2018)

Children and Youth Advocate to Review Inuit Child Welfare in Newfoundland and Labrador (APTN News, April 2018)

Edmonton Teen’s Group-Home Suicide Came Decade After Changes Recommended (CBC News, April 2018)

How The Suicides of Seven Indigenous Girls Revealed a Community Undone (The Star, April 2018)

Tina Fontaine’s Caregiver Calls for Changes in Manitoba to Curb Runaways (The Star, April 2018)

Indigenous Children Are Crying Out For Help in Canada (The Star, April 2018)

B.C.’s New Child-Protection Law Includes Indigenous Communities as Decision Makers (Globe and Mail, April 2018)

Six First-Nations and Metis Child-Welfare Agencies Claim Manitoba Government is Withholding 20 Percent of Funding (National Post, April 2018)

Federal Government has ‘Turned a Corner’ in First Nations Child Welfare (CTV News, April 2018)

Locked up at 12 – a Métis Woman Tries to Overcome the Inequalities in Canada’s Justice System (CBC News, March 2018)

Indigenous Mother to Get Child Back After She Was Taken Away by The Provence (Global News, March 2018)

B.C. Green MLA Wants Changes to How Child Welfare System Handles Indigenous Cases (Global News, March 2018)

Maori Experts Back Manitoba to Help Grow Indigenous-led Child Welfare Practices (CBC News, March 2018)

Federal Funding for Indigenous Child Welfare Does Not Go Far Enough (Cold Lake Sun, March 2018)

Winnipeg Summit Puts Spotlight on Indigenous Child-Welfare Laws (Winnipeg Free Press, March 2018)

Investigation Into The Deaths of Children Living in Residential Care, Including Seven Indigenous Children, Has Found Potential Criminality (APTN News, March 2018)

B.C. Working on Big Changes for Indigenous Child Welfare (National Observer, February 2018)

Indigenous Mother Under ‘Birth Alert” Fears She Will Lose Second Child (CBC News, January 2018)

Aboriginal Children – Canada Must Do Better (Canadian Council of Child and Youth Advocates, 2011)

$3.3 Million Pledged to Help Indigenous Families Keep Kids (Winnipeg Free Press, October 2017)

Manitoba Government Announces Child Welfare System Reform (October 2017)

Manitoba government vowing to reduce number of kids in care (Global News Winnipeg, October 2017)

Manitoba Chiefs Move to Take Over Children’s Welfare Services (Net Newsledger, October 2017)

‘It’s like they never existed’: Toronto monument will honour mistreated British Home Children (CBC, October 2017)

Manitoba’s child welfare crisis to be tackled through law, funding changes (CBC News Manitoba, October 2017)

Federal government commits funds for First Nations family advocacy in Manitoba (CTV News Winnipeg, October 2017)

Now is the time for Ottawa to create a path to progress with Indigenous people (Globe & Mail, September 2017)

Open letter to Justin Trudeau: Give First Nations children an equal chance (Globe & Mail, September 2017)

Indigenous Affairs Is A Sinking Ship. Naming 2 Captains Won’t Help (Huffington Post, September 2017)

Ontario calling new childcare agreement with Treaty 3 ‘historical moment’ (CBC, September 2017)

Saskatoon Indigenous homelessness initiatives receive federal boost (CBC, September 2017)

Justice, child welfare systems ‘failing our people,’ say Yukon First Nations (CBC, September 2017)


Ottawa spent $707,000 in legal fees fighting decision that protects Indigenous children (Toronto Star, June 2017)

Ottawa Continues to Fail Indigenous Children (Globe and Mail, June 2017)

The Canada Most People Don’t See (Macleans, June 2017)

Blackstock: Why does the government continue to discriminate against little kids? (Ottawa Citizen, June 2017)

What will it take for Ottawa finally to tackle Indigenous child-welfare crisis?: Editorial (Toronto Star, May 2017)

Youth in care deserve support till age 25 (Toronto Star, May 2017)

Government of Canada Still Failing First Nations Children: Canadian Human Rights Tribunal issues THIRD Compliance Order on Jordan’s Principle (Canada Newswire, May 2017)

Grand Chief Derek Nepinak Plans Walk To Celebrate Indigenous Resilience In Face Of Canada’s 150th (Huffington Post, May 2017)

Indigenous children lose cultural connection in child welfare system: Ontario and federal governments acknowledge overrepresentation of Indigenous children in system (CBC, May, 2017)

First Nations teen found dead was living in group home in Thunder Bay, Ont., chief says (CBC, May 2017)

Child advocate tells government to listen to at-risk children after heart-rending teen suicide (CBC, May 2017)

‘How many children do we have to lose?’ Ontario Children’s Aid joins call for inquest into aboriginal deaths (National Post, May 2017)

Trudeau Liberals’ failure on human rights ruling played role in First Nation girls’ suicides: Tribunal (APTN, May 2017)

Mandatory inquests in child welfare deaths? Province appears to be sticking to status quo (APTN News, May 2017)

Ojibway teen sleeping in Ottawa mall stairwell after aging out of group home (APTN News, May 2017)

Nunavut continues to leave foster kids in Ottawa group homes without local social worker (APTN News, May 2017)

Feds want to transform child welfare in Manitoba: Community engagement sessions being held in First Nations communities (Winnipeg Free Press, March, 2017)

B.C. report finds indigenous girls in care more likely to face sex abuse (Globe & Mail, October 2016)

Discrimination Against Indigenous Kids: Cindy Blackstock (Globe & Mail, April 2016)

Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future (Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, 2015)

Permanency Beyond Foster Care (The Office of the Children’s Advocate Manitoba, 2015)

Feathers of Hope Report (Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth, 2014)

Reducing the number of Indigenous children in care (June 2019)

Why did Canada separate Indigenous families from their children? (January 25, 2022)

Canada reaches $31.5 billion deal over Indigenous children put in foster care unnecessarily (January 4, 2022)

Interrupted childhoods: Over-representation of Indigenous and Black children in Ontario child welfare

Court backs ruling that Canada must compensate indigenous foster children for discrimination (Sept 29, 2021)

Intergenerational Trauma and Residential Schools (March 25, 2020)

Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action (2015)

Indigenous children overrepresented in Canada’s child welfare system, research says (October 27, 2020)

Foster care replaced residential schools for Indigenous children, advocates say (June 7, 2021)

Why Canada is reforming indigenous foster careBBC News (June 11, 2021)

Why do Canada’s Indigenous People Face Worse Health Outcomes Than Non-Indigenous People? (September 2019)

Curriculum and Connections Fuel Change That Can Help Indigenous Students Embrace Their Culture (September 2019)

‘I Felt Robbed’: Indigenous Mother says Baby’s Apprehension was Wrong (CBC News, April 2019)

‘They Should Have Given Me a Chance’: Mother, Chiefs Call for Child Welfare Reform After Infant Death (CBC News, April 2019)

‘These are Systems That Don’t Talk to Each Other’: Manitoba’s Child Protection Hearings More Harmful Than Helpful (National Post, March 2019)

‘They Failed Us’: Manitoba Mother of Girl Who Died in Care Speaks Out About Her Death (APTN News, March 2019)

Tina Fontaine’s Call for Help went Unanswered in Weeks Before Death, Manitoba Report Says (The Globe and Mail, March 2019)

Engaging Youth in Strategies to Reduce Homelessness Among Child Welfare-Involved Youth (Children’s Bureau, March 2019)

To Properly Remember Tina Fontaine, Ottawa Needs to Change Child Welfare Legislation (The Star, March 2019)

‘A Shameful Legacy’: Scathing Report on Tina Fontaine’s Troubled Life, Tragic Death Points to Systematic Failures Rooted in Colonialism (Winnipeg Free Press, March 2019)

Midweek Podcast: Tine Fontaine’s Legacy and Indigenous Child Welfare (CBC Radio, March 2019)

Tina was 5’3, 78 Pounds and Invisible to Those Who Should Have Helped Her (National Post, March 2019)

Systems Failed Tina Fontaine’s Family Before She Was Born, Report Reveals (CBC News, March 2019)

Heartbreaking Report Reveals Life and Death of Tina Fontaine (City News, March 2019)

Family of Tina Fontaine Hopes Report Saves Others from Falling Through the Cracks (The Globe and Mail, March 2019)

Former Sexually Exploited Youth says Report Into Tina Fontaine’s Death Misses the Mark (CBC News, March 2019)

‘I Found Hope Within My Culture’: Former Winnipeg Foster Child Shares Difficult Journey (Global News, March 2019)

‘Justice for Tina will come from all of us’ (The Globe and Mail, February 2019)

Video Sparks Outrage After Manitoba Officials Seize Newborn from Indigenous Mother in Hospital (The Global and Mail, January 2019)

Indigenous Newborn Taking by Authorities to be Returned to Family This Week (The Globe and Mail, January 2019)

Broken Child Welfare System Rooted in Broken Family Ties (CBC News, January 2019)

First Nations Family Advocate says Office Sees Spike in Calls for Help (CBC News, January 2019)

First Nations Family ‘Blindsided’ by How Child Services Takes Newborn from Mom, Posts Video to Call for Change (CBC News, January 2019)

Indigenous Mother Speaks Out After Newborn in Seized by CFS (CTV News, January 2019)

Video of Newborn Seized from Indigenous Mom Goes Viral and Triggers Uproar in Canada (RT, January 2019)

Live Stream of Baby Taken by Child Services Challenges Privacy Laws – but Family Feels Empowered (CBC News, January 2019)

Sask. Children’s Advocate Supports First Nation Controlled Child Welfare System (Global News, January 2019)

Culturally Specific Child Care Helps Instil Pride In Indigenous Kids (Huffington Post, December 2018)

Foster Care Must Include Cultural Care (Winnipeg Free Press, December 2018)

Good Intentions on Indigenous Child Welfare — and Many Questions (The Tyee, December 2018)

Call us Aunties, says Ottawa-Based Collective of Indigenous Doulas (CBC News, December 2018)

Indigenous Doulas Bring Tradition Back to Labour (Winnipeg Free Press, December 2018)

Suicide shouldn’t be ‘normal’ in Indigenous communities, says 2018 Massey Lecturer Tanya Talaga (CBC Radio, November 2018)

Why Indigenous Youth in Calgary Are Helping Others Reconnect to Their Culture at Diamond Willow Youth Lodge (Calgary Journal, November 2018)

Current Child Welfare System Often Causes Indigenous Kids More Harm (The Globe and Mail, October 2018)

Child welfare system ‘eats up’ Indigenous kids, family advocate tells MMIW inquiry (CBC News, October 2018)

Current child welfare system doesn’t work for Indigenous kids: former B.C. advocate (CBC News, October 2018)

Keeping Indigenous Children Out of Care Requires More Community Input, Say Advocates (CBC News, September 2018)

Where are the Indigenous Children who Never Came Home? (High Country News, September 2018)

“I Finally Got to Meet my Mom”: 45 Years Later, Sixties Scoop Adoptee Learns Details of her Mother’s Murder (CBC News, September 2018)

The Challenge for all Skipped-Generation Grandparents (The Globe and Mail, September 2018)