Tuesday, November 24, 2009

1 in 4 Native kids growing up in Poverty

"Today for the first time in history, the largest group of Americans living in poverty are children. One in five children live in the most abject, dangerous, hopeless, back-breaking, gut-wrenching poverty any of us could imagine. One in five, and they're children. If fidelity to freedom of democracy is the code of our civic religion, then surely the code of our humanity is faithful service to that unwritten commandment that says we shall give our children better than we ourselves received." - West Wing

I am using this quote as an intro to a story that came out yesterday that says 1 in 10 children in Canada are living in poverty. What is also says that 1 in 4 native children are living in poverty. 1 in 4!

We need to be crying out against this. Writing our government, our band councils, amnesty international, whomever we can that might help fix this. Most importantly, we have to work to fix it ourselves. Our voices count, our vote counts. We are suppose to give our children more then we have. We need to finish school, we need to get jobs that afford us a standard of living that isn't poverty. We need to help our families. We need to expect more of ourselves, we need to be responsible for ourselves, our choices, our people. It isn't all external forces that cause this statistic. External forces are most assuradly a part of it, but not entirely.

How do we change this statistic? How do we ensure our children have better then we ourselves had???

Monday, November 23, 2009

CBC Radio - Native Kids in care - Broken promises

Child Welfare - Native Kids

Two decades ago, Canada signed on to the United Nations Convention for the Rights of the Child. It acknowledged that all children have the right to be safe and protected from harm, cared for, nurtured, and heard.

It's a commitment to children that critics say Canada has ignored.
Their case in point. One in ten Canadian children live in poverty and a lot of those children live on reserves. And it's being alleged that those kids do not have the same access to health care, education and other services as children living off reserves.

The Assembly of First Nations and the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society have filed a human rights complaint, saying this is blatant discrimination.
A tribunal had been scheduled to begin hearings into the complaint last week. But those hearings have now been postponed until January 18th, a delay that further frustrates those making the complaint.

Cindy Blackstock is one of them. She is the Executive Director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society. She is to be awarded the Economic Justice Fellowship today from The Atkinson Charitable Foundation. She was in Montreal. And Carolyn Buffalo is Chief of the Montana Cree Nation in Hobbema, Alberta and mother of Noah.

We invited Chuck Strahl, the Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada and Janis Tarchuk, Alberta's Minister of Children and Youth Services to appear on the program. They both declined our invitation.

We also invited federal Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq but received no response. Ottawa has responded to the Human Rights complaint by arguing the Tribunal does not have jurisdiction to hear the matter because the federal government is the funder of the services and not the provider. The government will be in Federal Court in January to try and stop the Tribunal.

- Taken from CBC radio website - all rights belong to CBC