Youth discuss child welfare system through film, panel
November 10, 2016. (Dis)placed: Indigenous Youth and the Child Welfare System will premiere on Sunday afternoon at the Metro Cinema in Edmonton as part of the “Reconciliation in Focus” bi-monthly film series. The 42-minute film, directed by Melisa Brittain, features the voices of Indigenous youth as they reflect on their prior involvement with child welfare and share their multiple strategies of resistance to assimilation and state control. Adding to these insights, First Nations child advocate Cindy Blackstock traces the term ‘neglect,’ the main rationale for child welfare removals, to its roots in the residential school system, and points to laws that codify structural discrimination as the leading cause of child welfare (dis)placements. A panel discussion will follow featuring youth from the film –Tia Ledesma, Tyler Blackface and Donovan Waskahat – talking with Knowledge Keeper Gary Moostoos and researcher Daniela Navia. “Reconciliation in Focus” is a bi-monthly film series in partnership with Metro Cinema that critically examines reconciliation through documentary and feature film. The series is intended to foster conversations about the ways education institutions must address the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action and broader politics of reconciliation across the country. A panel of academics, artists and community members follows each screening.
Kayas Opikinawasowin ‘Long Ago Child-Rearing’ focus of workshop
November 10, 2016. The Star of the North retreat centre, in St. Albert, will be the location of a four-day program based on Cree cultural perspectives that will explore values and attitudes of traditional child-rearing practices from before European settlement. This will include oral traditional storytelling, the spiritual nature of the child, traditional behavioral management, the role of extended families, and residential school history solutions. The program is intended for professionals among First Nations, Metis, and non-Indigenous, and anyone interested in empowering and enculturating future generations. The workshop runs from Nov. 14-17.
Riel commemorated in week of activities
November 10, 2016. The sixth annual Louis Riel commemorative walk on Sunday will kick off Metis Week celebrations in Edmonton and area. In honour of Riel, the 6.6 km commemorative walk with horse and wagon rides to St. Margaret’s Church signifies the procession made by Riel’s family and community to his funeral. On Nov. 14, the Metis Nation of Alberta and City of Edmonton will raise the Metis flag at city hall. On Nov. 16, the Louis Riel commemoration ceremony will be held at the Alberta Legislature. Other events will take place throughout the week.
OCYA outlines work undertaken in annual report
November 10, 2016. The annual report from the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate was tabled in the Legislature on Wednesday. In 2015-16, 2,535 young people were served through the office, a figure consistent with the previous year. While the number of Aboriginal children decreased by four per cent, they still represented 58 per cent of the young people served. In this past year, the OCYA released two reports that focused on Aboriginal children, one that examined Aboriginal youth suicide and the other examined the over-representation of Aboriginal children in the system. There were also eight individual investigative reviews completed. This year’s annual report outlined the OCYA’s efforts to encourage improvements in the child intervention system.