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Political will there to solve child welfare crisis for Indigenous kids: Philpott – CP

by ahnationtalk on January 25, 2018263 Views

Source: The Canadian Press
Jan 25, 2018 

OTTAWA _ Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott says the humanitarian crisis of indigenous child welfare in Canada is possibly even worse than previously thought.

In an opening speech at a two-day emergency meeting on child welfare, she says the data available to count the number of Indigenous kids in care is not good enough and without an accurate measure you can’t properly understand what is wrong and fix it.

An estimated 40,000 Indigenous children are in care across Canada, accounting for more than half of the kids in care overall, but Philpott says she doesn’t believe anyone actually knows the real number.

She says the government has the political will to fix the crisis, including getting accurate data, but she won’t yet put deadlines or targets on reducing the number of kids in care and keeping more families together.

Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami president Natan Obed says the discrepancies in services for Indigenous children are rooted in a lack of a basic level of respect for Indigenous families and culture.

Philpott says the ultimate goal is Indigenous management of child welfare but Assembly of First Nations national chief Perry Bellegarde is urging First Nations to take control now and not wait for Ottawa or provincial governments to delegate the authority to them.


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