What About Us?
by Nathalie on November 3, 2017 - 12:09pm
On October 24 2017, Jorge Barrera posted an article on CBC News “Health Canada Knew of Massive Gaps in First Nations Child Health Care, Documents Show: Officials Were Unprepared to Implement Changes Prescribed by Landmark Human Rights Ruling.” The article speaks of “Ottawa [discriminating] against [the] First Nation children by underfunding on-reserve child welfare services and by failing to apply Jordan's Principle, which places the needs of First Nations children ahead of jurisdictional disputes between governments” a ruling by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, in January 2016. “Health Canada documents reveal the department knew it faced serious shortfalls in the level of health services provided to First Nations children and was unprepared to implement changes prescribed by the human rights ruling.”
In March/April 2007, the Children’s Voice Washington published the academic journal article, “NACC Certifies Nation's First Child Welfare Law Specialists,” written by Marvin Ventrell and Amanda George. The National Association of Counsel for Children (NACC) certified “85 attorneys who represent children, parents, and state welfare agencies in abuse, neglect, and dependency cases” as child welfare law specialists (CWLS) in June of 2006. The child welfare law specialty certification was “designed to improve outcomes for children and families in the foster care and court systems by improving the quality of legal services. […] Topics […] include […] substantive and procedural law, trial practice, alternative dispute resolution, child abuse and neglect, child development, and family dynamics and relationships.” Hopefully, these initiatives will end in a safer, more permanent and better overall well-being for the First Nation’s foster care population.
We need more people like these lawyers to help the First Nations of Canada. These children, these nations are underrepresented, mostly ignored and it’s wrong. They deserve so much better. They have been imposed laws on all their lives and it’s time to give them a voice. In the words of P!nk, “What about us? We are the problems that want to be solved. We are the children that need to be loved. We were willing, we came when you called. But man you fooled us, enough is enough. What about us?”