A fourth teenage girl who was living in a group home around 500 miles from her home died on May 4. Chiefs in Ontario have passed a resolution demanding an inquest into the disparity between the care provided for kids who live on-reserve versus those from non-First Nations communities.
Spokesperson for Protecting Canadian Children, Velvet Martin, believes that recent additions to the all-party panel on child intervention are not sufficient to deal with the issue.
The government of Ontario does not keep track of the number of children it places into group homes. Since October, three youth have died while in group homes.
A child intervention panel examines the complex issues that surround Indigenous children and their families in the child intervention system. In the first round of hearings, the panel met with Indigenous representatives and groups, and the panel will meet with youth in the next round.
According to experts, the 2017 budget falls short of providing adequate funding for services for youth and low-income families even with an increase in funding for education and the Ministry of Children and Family Development.
A report from the Representative for Children and Youth was released on March 30 and focused on inadequate funding for Delegated Aboriginal Agencies, which serve Indigenous children and their families.
In response to a report on how the province's child welfare system fails Indigenous children, the government of British Columbia has committed to handing over control of child-welfare decisions in aboriginal communities to Indigenous authorities.
The federal government has appointed Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux as a special representative to tackle the challenge of improving the quality on-reserve child welfare services.
The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has released a report on child poverty rates in Canada. Based on data from the 2011 National Household Survery, the study shows that aboriginal children living on reserve have by far the highest rate of poverty of all groups in the country.
Survivors of the Sixties Scoop — in which 16,000 First Nations children in Ontario were removed from their families and placed in non-Native homes — gathered at the Osgoode Hall law courts in Toronto for a rally in advance of a one-day court hearing.