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Federal minister confronted by Innu leaders, promises changes for Indigenous foster care

Tshakapesh, Qupee among Indigenous leaders protesting Canada Day celebrations


Just five weeks removed from the death of his 16-year-old son, Tshakapesh made the trip from Natuashish to Toronto, confronting the federal minister of Affairs at a Canada Day event.


Indigenous protesters confront Carolyn Bennett at Canada Day picnic

He showed her a photo of his son, Thunderheart — taken from Natuashish at the age of 14 and placed in the care of social services in Newfoundland.


“This is unacceptable that your children are being taken from you,” Bennett told him.


“Change it! Change it!” Tshakapesh shouted back.


“We are going to change it,” she said. “It is unacceptable.


Innu leaders among Indigenous protesters


Bennett came face-to-face with protesters from all over Canada on Saturday, as they converged on a public picnic she hosted at the Spadina Museum.


Joining Tshakapesh was Innu Grand Chief Anastasia Qupee, who stood alongside him during their conversation with Bennett.


“The government talks about the future,” Qupee said. “How the future’s really important for Canada, for the people. But this is not the future we see, this is not the future we want for our children.


In March, CBC News reported 265 children in Labrador were living in foster care.

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