London, Ontario May 26th, 2020 – In a recent report by KidsRights, Canada has slipped in adhering to children’s rights and is treading water in the middle of the global rankings. This may come as a surprise to Canadians given how Canada prides itself as a progressive country that holds a higher standard of living, but this is not a shock to our Indigenous children.
Canada has ignored health and well being of First Nations children in a number of areas from Education, Health, Mental Health, Housing access to safe drinking water, Child and Family Services. AIAI Grand Chief Joel Abram says “Canada has a long way to go to ensuring that our children and youth have access to substantively equitable services in comparison to the rest of Canada. The COVID-19 pandemic has served to highlight the needs of our children and youth from mental health supports, access to stable internet connectivity for their educational needs, and proper housing and safe drinking water. If Canada wants to stop the plummet in their global ranking they need to turn their attention back to what is needed among the Indigenous children and youth and help them.”
The truth is evident when a country such as Canada that prides itself on resources, and its standing on the world stage, being outscored by countries with fewer resources and lower developmental states. Canada has no excuses for its shortfalls and it won’t get better if it won’t acknowledge the challenges faced by our communities. Canada needs to step up and work with First Nations to ensure our communities receive equitable services and resources that will enable them to have the same opportunities.