Minister of Children’s Services Danielle Larivee announced this morning that Tyler White, CEO for Siksika Health Services, has been appointed to the ministerial panel on child intervention.
White’s appointment follows consistent criticism from First Nations and Métis leaders that the MLA panel had no Indigenous representation. Patti Laboucane-Benson was the only Indigenous person associated with the panel and held the position of an expert in the field.
“We have heard from leaders and community members that we need to bolster First Nations perspectives on the panel,” said Larivee, in a statement.
The all-party panel was launched in February to explore ways to streamline Alberta’s child death review process and identify ways to strengthen and improve the child intervention system as a whole.
Larivee said White’s contributions would help the panel “engage with Indigenous Albertans (to) identify practical, concrete ways to better support First Nations children and families, and improve the lives of more than 10,000 children across Alberta.”
Don Langford, executive director with Métis Child and Family Services, said in an earlier interview with Windspeaker.com that as 70 per cent of children in care are Indigenous then 70 per cent of the panel should be Indigenous people.
“Unless you’ve got Aboriginal eyes, you’re not going to look at it through an Aboriginal lens,” said Langford.