It’s one of Canada’s bleakest realities, one that stretches coast to coast to coast: too many Indigenous children live in foster care. Too many Indigenous children lose vital connections to their culture, identity and family when they are placed with non-Indigenous families. And too many Indigenous families are ripped apart simply because of their financial status.
Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott has announced legislation, to be introduced in early 2019, that aims to change that. Developed in collaboration with Indigenous leaders, the new law would allow Indigenous leaders to run their own child and family services (CFS) agencies in order to reverse the rising number of kids in care.
And those numbers are alarming. According to 2016 census data, around 52 per cent of the 28,665 children age 13 and younger in foster care in Canada are Indigenous, despite making up only 7.7 per cent of children that age in the wider population.
In Manitoba, 11,000 children are in care, and 91 per cent are First Nations or Métis. Manitoba leads the country in child-welfare apprehensions.
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