by Jarrah Hodge
On June 11, students from the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto and the Schools of Social Work at Ryerson University and York University will be holding a walk for First Nation children’s cultural equity, on behalf of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada.
As the walk’s media release points out:
Aboriginal children lag behind their non-Aboriginal peers in academic performance and health status, and they are overrepresented in the child welfare system – there are approximately eight times more Aboriginal children in government care than other children. Aboriginal child welfare programs are chronically underfunded, preventing First Nations children from having the same chance to succeed. Some research indicates that Aboriginal child welfare receives 22% less funding than non-Aboriginal child welfare services.
Erinn Michèle Treff, the U of T organizer (and a former classmate of mine), said:
We are passionate about helping First Nations children because they are at a clear disadvantage. Canada’s treatment of Aboriginal children is shameful and well-documented. Society needs to tell the Government of Canada that enough is enough.
Participants will walk together to Queen’s Park where they will submit letters to the Prime Minister and/or MP in support of First Nations children. A mail box designed by children will be at the finish line for participants to post their letters.
If you’re in or around Toronto that week, consider taking part. Registration is free. Just email walkforFNchildren@gmail.com with your name and/or team members’ names, your organization (optional), and contact information. You can also check out the Facebook event page for more information. Their goal is to have over 500 people participate and to send over 1000 letters to the Prime Minister/Members of Parliament on this issue.