June 14 – The 60’s Scoop: A Hidden Generation documentary – Trailer Launch and Fundraiser

Join us for the official trailer launch of The Sixties Scoop: A Hidden Generation. This film, by Ottawa-based Colleen Cardinal, will share the stories of the survivors of a period of Canadian child welfare policy during which an estimated 16,000 Indigenous children were removed from their homes and adopted into non-Indigenous homes: the Sixties Scoop.

Following the trailer screening and launch of the online Indiegogo campaign we will be hosting a panel discussion with Sixties Scoop survivors Angela Ashewasegai, Neal Shannacappo, & Elaine Kicknosoway who will discuss the importance of speaking out about the Sixties Scoop and the inter-generational trauma it has caused Indigenous people.

The panel discussion will also feature guests:

  • Robert Commanda (tentative) a plaintiff in the historical class action lawsuit against the Ontario government on behalf of Sixties Scoop survivors.
  • Families of Sisters in Spirit is dedicated to raising awareness of Missing and Murdered Indigenous women in and impacts of historical colonial violence.
  • Joanne Dellaire -She currently sits as the Elder on Ryerson’s Aboriginal Education Council, works with various Aboriginal agencies in Toronto and the National Capital region and is a visiting Elder at Kumik and the Dodem Kanonsha. Joanne has made extraordinary contributions in the areas of counselling, advising and educating on Aboriginal concerns and empowering and capacity building within the Aboriginal community and non-Aboriginal community at large. She has dedicated her career to serving the Aboriginal community and advocating for change in terms of broader societal relationships between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people.

Performance of spoken word by Neal Shannacappo, Vera Wabegijig & Angela Ashewasegai

 

Friday, June 14
Location: Bronson Centre, 211 Bronson Ave
Doors Open and Light Refreshments: 6:30PM
This event is Accessible

This event is open to all, with a suggested donation of $5 at the door.
The event is being put on and supported by KAIROS

 

For more information about this documentary, check out the blog
http://ahiddengeneration.wordpress.com/

Like the documentary FB page!
https://www.facebook.com/AHiddenGeneration

and here is the FB event page for June 14

 

Be a Witness to a historical event – the Federal Court Appeal on the First Nations Human Rights case

The appeal is open to the public and the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society urges as many people as possible to learn more and take part in this historic event.

Feb. 13 – 15 th, 2012
9:30 am ~ 4:30 pm (10:30, 2:30 coffee break & noon-1pm lunch break)
Supreme Court of Canada 
301 Wellington St. Ottawa on unceded Algonquin Territory

The legal councils of Assembly of First Nations, First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, Canadian Human Rights Commission, Chiefs of Ontario, Amnesty International and Canada will present their arguments throughout these 3 days.

Be there to listen what they have to say!

Tentative schedule:

Day 1 – Canadian Human Rights Commission, The First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, and The Chiefs of Ontario
Day 2 – The Chiefs of Ontario, Amnesty International, The Aseembly of First Nations, and Attorney General
Day 3 – Replies: Commission / Caring Society / AFN

For a summary of the legal arguments of each party to this Federal Court Appeal: http://www.fncfcs.com/sites/default/files/fnwitness/witness-factum-summary.pdf

Please fill the doodle below and let us know when you plan to attend the hearing. This will help us keep track of the number of supporters. There is room for only 75 observers in the Federal Court room , however, an overflow room is also planned. The goal is to fill the court-room for both the morning and afternoon sessions of all three days.

http://www.doodle.com/m4t5a4b6kmvzpyha

If you are signing up as individuals who have no preference for either the morning or the afternoon, please consider coming for the afternoon sessions as we would like to give preference to teachers/professors and their students for the morning.

For details about this historical human rights case: www.fnwitness.ca

In the Spirit of Reconciliation

This February 14th, 2012 
Let’s Have a Heart for First Nations Children in Canada

February 14 is a Have a Heart Day for First Nations Children

At 10:30 am come to the Parliament Hill on unceded Algonquin Territory to be in solidarity with all First Nations Children,
Demand CULTURALLY BASED EQUITY!

Bring your creative signs!!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/215732211849795/

From February 13th to 15th, the Federal Court will hear an appeal on a human rights case that challenges Canada’s racially discriminatory underfunding of children’s welfare services on First Nations reserves by the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada (the Caring Society) and the Assembly of First Nations (AFN). Timed to coincide with this hearing, the Caring Society has declared February 14th “Have a Heart Day for First Nations children”.

For more details: https://ipsmo.wordpress.com/first-nations-child-welfare/

For a summary of the legal arguments of each party to this Federal Court Appeal: http://www.fncfcs.com/sites/default/files/fnwitness/witness-factum-summary.pdf

Allies of First Nations children, led by the students of Lady Evelyn Alternative School and Pierre Elliott Trudeau Elementary School joined by the other high school students in the local area, are organizing a rally on Parliament Hill to show Canada we care about First Nations children!

Tuesday, February 14th 
10:30 am ~ 11:45 am
Parliament Hill, unceded Algonquin Territory

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/215732211849795/

We are calling upon peoples at all ages to join the children and youth in the rally on Feb. 14 at 10:30 am.

If the Caring Society and AFN are successful in this human rights case, it will set a precedent to address funding inequities in all areas on reserves, including housing, education, recreation, health care, clean water and sanitation. Canada is not arguing this case on the facts relevant to whether discrimination is occurring rather they are trying to avoid a hearing on this matter using legal loopholes.

Tentative Schedule:

10:30  Kitigan Zibi First Nation children and youth welcome students
10:35  Wesley Prankard of northernstarfish.org speaks about making a positive difference for First Nations children
10:40  Annie Atnikov, Lisa Howell and Cindy Blackstock announce new book “Children have Power”
10:45  Lady Evelyn Students (3-5) read letters or portions thereof
11:00  Pierre Elliott Trudeau Students (3-5 ) read letters or portions thereof
11:15  Kitigan Zibi First Nation Students (3-5) read letters of portions thereof
11:30  Children put letters into the mail box
11:35  Charlie Angus leads children singing Diamonds in the snow and children make snow angels on the way to their buses:)Together, we demand Culturally Based Equity for all peoples!!

source: First Nations Child and Families Caring Society

Solidarity with Attawapiskat! Learn, Speak up, and Rally on Feb. 14 2012!!

As the crisis of inadequate housing and colonial repression continues in Attawapiskat and other First Nations, what can we do to hold our governments accountable for the prevalent violence deliberately perpetrated against these unique peoples?

Photo Credit: Liam Sharp,

With our gratitude and respect to the original peoples of this land we live on, and acknowledgement of the over 500 years of their resistance to colonialism, patriarchy and racism, in the spirit of reconciliation, we ask all to show solidarity by:

  1. learning about the root causes of the crisis;
  2. speaking out against the governments and media’s misrepresentation of the issues;
  3. rallying in front of the Supreme Court of Canada on Tuesday, February 14 at 10:30 am as it hears a landmark human rights case on Canada’s systematic underfunding of services on First Nations reserves; and
  4. attending the court to show your solidarity during the hearing of this unprecedented human rights case (Feb. 13-15) at the Supreme Court of Canada

Details about each of these actions follow, below.

1. Learn more

Check out the link below for an overview and other insightful analysis of the crisis in Attawapiskat:

Canadian Colonialism: The Attawapiskat Humanitarian Crisis – an Example of Continuing Oppression and Genocide by Canadian Government: https://ipsmo.wordpress.com/2011/12/20/canadian-colonialism-the-attawapiskat/

Students putting letters supporting Shannen's Dream in school house mail box. Source: Shannen's Dream gallery http://www.fncfcs.com/shannensdream/gallery

2. Speak out

We must speak out against skewed, colonialist misrepresentations of the situation wherever we encounter them in our daily lives.

We also must let public officials know about our disgust with the federal government’s shameful victim-blaming response to the humanitarian emergency in Attawapiskat, and the Ontario government’s irresponsibility to the well-being of the First Nation. We must demand peace, justice and equity for all of First Nations peoples. It is our responsibility.

Here are a few suggestions for officials to write to:

  • John Duncan, Federal Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development: minister@aadnc-aandc.gc.ca, Phone: 819-997-0002, FAX: 819 953 4941
  • Kathleen Wynne, Ontario Minister of Aboriginal Affairs: minister.maa@ontario.ca
  • Joanne Wilkinson, Ontario Regional Director General of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada: Phone: 416-973-6201
  • Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada: pm@pm.gc.ca, stephen.harper@parl.gc.ca, Phone: 613-992-4211, Fax: 613-941-6900
  • Dalton McGuinty, Premier of Ontario: dmcguinty.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org, Phone: 416-325-1941, Fax: 416-325-3745
  • David Johnston, Governor General of Canada: info@gg.ca, Phone: 613-993-8200, Fax: 613-998-8760

You can also contact your member of Parliament (contact info can be found here: http://bit.ly/pKCBj4), and member of Provincial Parliament (see http://bit.ly/dl8sdz)

3. Attend Have a Heart Day Rally 

Tuesday, February 14th
10:30 am ~ 11:30 am
Parliament Hill, unceded Algonquin Territory

Bring your creative signs to support First Nations children!

“Have a heart for First Nations Children” image source: http://www.fncfcs.com/have-a-heart/cards

From February 13th to 15th, the Federal Court will hear an appeal on a human rights case that challenges Canada’s racially discriminatory underfunding of children’s welfare services on First Nations reserves by the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada (the Caring Society) and the Assembly of First Nations (AFN). Timed to coincide with this hearing, the Caring Society has declared February 14th “Have a Heart Day for First Nations children”.

Allies of First Nations children, led by the students of Lady Evelyn Alternative School and Pierre Elliott Trudeau Elementary School, are organizing a rally in front of the courthouse to show Canada we care about First Nations children!

The case is relevant to Attawapiskat because it centres on the principle of culturally based equity that essential services accessed by First Nations children and families on reserves should be funded at a level equal to the funding level for all of Canadian residents. If the Caring Society and AFN are successful in this human rights case, it will set a precedent to address funding inequities in all areas on reserves, including housing, education, recreation, health care, clean water and sanitation. Canada is not arguing this case on the facts relevant to whether discrimination is occurring rather they are trying to avoid a hearing on this matter using legal loopholes.

For more information on this historic event: www.fnwitness.ca

We are calling upon peoples to attend the rally on Feb. 14 at 10:30 am in front of the Supreme Court of Canada (301 Wellington Street).

4. Court Support throughout the Federal Court Appeal on the child welfare case

Feb 13-15, 2012
9:30 am ~ 4:30 pm
(10:30, 2:30 coffee break & noon-1pm lunch break)
Federal Court
90 Spark Street, Ottawa, unceded Algonquin Territory

The Caring Society is calling upon observers to attend the hearing of the appeal throughout these three days.

For more information on this appeal please see above or check this web site: www.fnwitness.ca. If you have any questions regarding this court support, please e-mail Sylvia at info@projectofheart.ca.

“I am a Witness” Image source: http://www.fncfcs.com/fnwitness

Image credit: First Nations Child and Family Caring Society

Is this our Canada? A Public Lecture by Cindy Blackstock and Exhibition of the Caring Across Boundaries Photography Exhibit

UPDATE: Please see the video of this event:

 

Please join us for

Click the image to download the poster

A Public Lecture by Cindy Blackstock, the Executive Director of First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada and Exhibition of the Caring Across Boundaries Photography Exhibit:

Is This Our Canada?
How racial discrimination in children’s services undermines the potential of this generation of First Nations children and what you can do to help

with an opening ceremony by Claudette Commanda, an Algonquin Elder and introduction by Georges Sioui, the coordinator of Aboriginal Study of University of Ottawa in the beginning of the lecture

Lecture will begin at 7 pm on Wednesday, Sept 22, 2010
@ Alumni Theatre, Jock Turcot University Centre, University of Ottawa (map)

Caring Across Boundaries Photography Exhibit Photography by Liam Sharp will be open all day, from 11 am to 9 pm on Wednesday, Sept 22, 2010 @ Agora, Ground Floor of Jock Turcot University Centre, University of Ottawa (map)

** Admission is free, everyone is welcome.  Donation is appreciated.

As of May of 2005, the Wen:de study found that 0.67% of non Aboriginal children were in child welfare care in three sample provinces in Canada as compared to 10.23% of status Indian children.

According to federal government figures the number of status Indian children entering child welfare care rose 71.5% nationally between 1995-2001.

Is this our Canada?

The Canadian Incidence Study on Reported Child Abuse and Neglect (CIS) has found that First Nations children come to the attention of child welfare authorities for different reasons than non Aboriginal children. First Nations are not more likely to experience abuse than non-Aboriginal children. First Nations children are more likely to be reported for neglect which is driven by poverty, poor housing and caregiver substance misuse.

Based on an audit conducted by the Auditor General of Canada, the percentages of children in care on reserves ranged from 0 to 28% in 2007.

Is this our Canada?

Provincial child welfare laws apply both on and off reserves. The provinces fund child welfare for children off reserve but expect the federal government to fund it on reserve. If the federal government does not fund the services or funds them inadequately, the provinces typically do not top up the funding levels. This results in a two tiered child welfare system where First Nations children on reserves get less funding for child welfare than other children.

Repeated reports, including by the Auditor General of Canada (2008) and Standing Committee on Public Accounts (2009) confirm that federal government funding for child welfare services on reserves is inadequate and must be changed in order to ensure First Nations children and families on reserves receive a comparable and culturally based child welfare services.

Although the federal government has been aware of the shortfalls in its child welfare funding for over nine years, it has implemented only modest improvements in three provinces.

Overall there are more First Nations children in child welfare care in Canada than at the height of residential schools.  Canada ranked 3rd on the United Nations Human Development index however; the First Nations communities in Canada ranked 72nd.

Is This Our Canada?

Please join us in this lecture to learn about the reality of child welfare services in Indigenous communities across Turtle Island (a.k.a. Canada) and ways you can make difference for the First Nations children. 

For comprehensive background information, research and publications on First Nations Child Welfare, please visit  http://www.fncaringsociety.com/.

~~~

Caring Across Boundaries is an exhibition about the importance of reconciliation between First Nations and the rest of Canada for the wellbeing of children and youth. Reconciliation opens the doors for all Canadians to have a new relationship with First Nations based on mutual respect and friendship.

In this exhibition, three First Nations communities share their daily experiences with a view to inviting every Canadian to make a positive difference for First Nations children and their families.

It is a collaboration between renowned photographer Liam Sharp, Aboriginal child rights advocate Cindy Blackstock and the First Nations communities of Attawapiskat, Ontario; Carrier-Sekani Family Services: a branch society of the Carrier-Sekani Tribal Council, British Columbia; and, Tobique First Nation, New Brunswick.

~~~

Bios

Liam Sharp is an internationally renowned photographer who specializes in storytelling conceptual photography. For over twenty years, Liam has worked in settings ranging from diamond vaults to impoverished neighbourhoods, museums, sky scrapers and theme parks. He was the recipient of the Silver Award of the Art Directors Club of Canada in 2009 and was nominated for a National Magazine Award. His work has been featured in Graphis, Applied Arts and PDN magazines, Report on Business, The London Times Magazine, among others publications.  Go to liamsharp.com for a glance of his work.

Cindy Blackstock is one of Canada’s leading and most passionate spokespersons for the promotion and strengthening of First Nations cultures, knowledge and rights. A member of the Gitksan First Nation, and the Executive Director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada (FNCFCS), she has worked in the field of child and family services for over 20 years.

ATTAWAPISKAT FIRST NATION is home to the Mushkego or Omushkego James Bay Cree located along the Attawapiskat River near James Bay, Ontario. The community takes great pride in its Cree culture and language and most children are fluent in Cree despite the devastating impacts of colonization. Daily life for families in the community is difficult. The school sits on a site contaminated by over 30,000 gallons of diesel fuel, sanitation systems are grossly inadequate, food costs are high, and there are severe housing shortages. The community leadership has worked hard with federal and provincial governments to deal with the problems but progress is slow.

CARRIER SEKANI NATIONS people historically have resided in a vast territory, of over 76,000 kilometers, primarily located in North Central British Columbia. Today there are approximately 10,000 individuals represented by 22 Indian Bands or First Nations, as recognized by the Department of Indian Affairs that identify as being Carrier or Sekani societies. Families are challenged by the inter-generational impacts of colonization, poverty and unresolved land claims. Carrier Sekani peoples have developed institutions such as Carrier Sekani Family Services to help community members but they need more resources to meet all of the needs. Go to www.csfs.org for more information.

TOBIQUE FIRST NATION
is a Maliseet community located in a rural area along the St. John River in New Brunswick. A hydro electric dam was built on their lands but the community receives very little benefit from the dam. They pay some of the highest electric power bills in the province, have seen their traditional foods and medicines eroded due to the dam and many community members are living in poverty. Federal and Provincial government funding for essential government services such as education and child welfare fall far below what other children in the province receive. This community is working hard to ensure the safety and wellbeing of their children but they need access to the resources other communities take for granted.

~~

This lecture and exhibition are presented by First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada, Forum on Aboriginal Research and Study – University of Ottawa and Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement Ottawa, and sponsored by Canadian Union of Postal Workers, Public Service Alliance of Canada and Ontario Public Interest Research Group – University of Ottawa

The lecture will be presented in English.

Canadian Human Rights Tribunal

PURPOSE: To witness the motion to dismiss the Human Rights Hearings on whether or not the federal government is treating First Nations children fairly.
DATE: June 2 and 3, 2010 (9:30-5:00)
LOCATION: The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, 11th floor, 160 Elgin Street, Ottawa ALGONQUIN TERRITORY

First Nations Child and Family Caring Society is trying to get as much support out to 160 Elgin Street as possible on June 2nd and 3rd.  The hearings begin at 9:30, break at 12:00 for lunch and then go until 5:00.  If people could come even for a part of that time (like an hour or so) it would be great.

Please click here to read the message from Cindy Blackstock, Executive Director of the First Nations Child & Family Caring Society.

This is a historic case because it would be the first time in Canadian history that a Tribunal hearing has dealt with a whole people being discriminated against (systemic discrimination), not just individuals.  The impact would be immense.  Please come out and show our solidarity with First Nations children and families.

BACKGROUND

On Feb. 26, 2007, the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) and the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society (FNCFCS) filed a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) alleging that Canada is racially discriminating against First Nations children by providing less child welfare funding, and thus benefits, on reserves.

Continue reading “Canadian Human Rights Tribunal”