In June 2015, members of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) presented 94 Calls to Action that would help “redress the legacy of residential schools and advance the process of Canadian reconciliation” with Indigenous peoples.
Throughout the month of September and leading up to #OrangeShirtDay and #NationalDayForTruthAndReconciliation we will be reminding the governments of the 94 calls to action.
The Government of Canada passed legislation to make September 30, National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, a federal statutory holiday.
This day is an important step in the reconciliation process and it provides an opportunity to Canadians to recognize and commemorate the tragic history and ongoing legacy of residential schools, and to honour their survivors and the families and communities affected.
Calls to Action 1 through 5 address Legacy – Child Welfare and are as follows:
1. We call upon the federal, provincial, territorial, and Aboriginal governments to commit to reducing the number of Aboriginal children in care by:
i. Monitoring and assessing neglect investigations.
ii. Providing adequate resources to enable Aboriginal communities and child-welfare organizations to keep Aboriginal families together where it is safe to do so, and to keep children in culturally appropriate environments, regardless of where they reside.
iii. Ensuring that social workers and others who conduct child-welfare investigations are properly educated and trained about the history and impacts of residential schools.
iv. Ensuring that social workers and others who conduct child-welfare investigations are properly educated and trained about the potential for Aboriginal communities and families to provide more appropriate solutions to family healing.
v. Requiring that all child-welfare decision makers consider the impact of the residential school experience on children and their caregivers.
2. We call upon the federal government, in collaboration with the provinces and territories, to prepare and publish annual reports on the number of Aboriginal children (First Nations, Inuit, and Métis) who are in care, compared with non-Aboriginal children, as well as the reasons for apprehension, the total spending on preventive and care services by child-welfare agencies, and the effectiveness of various interventions.
3. We call upon all levels of government to fully implement Jordan’s Principle.
4. We call upon the federal government to enact Aboriginal child-welfare legislation that establishes national standards for Aboriginal child apprehension and custody cases and includes principles that:
i. Affirm the right of Aboriginal governments to establish and maintain their own child-welfare agencies.
ii. Require all child-welfare agencies and courts to take the residential school legacy into account in their decision making.
iii. Establish, as an important priority, a requirement that placements of Aboriginal children into temporary and permanent care be culturally appropriate.
5. We call upon the federal, provincial, territorial, and Aboriginal governments to develop culturally appropriate parenting programs for Aboriginal families.
For information on the TRC Calls to Action visit:
#ApartTogether we demand #ReconciliACTION
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