Leadership rallies for change to historic systemic discrimination in child welfare

Monday, February 19th, 2018 11:37am

Today at noon, Feb. 19 on Family Day, the Siksika Nation leadership will gather at Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park to shine a light on a Child and Family case that is before the Court of Alberta.

It involves two children. One from Siksika and the other from the Mosquito-Grizzly Bear’s Head-Lean Man Nation in Saskatchewan, with the trial continuing Feb. 20 in a court in Calgary.

Siksika Nation Chief Joseph Weasel Child and Chief Daniel Starchief of Mosquito-Grizzly Bear’s Head-Lean Man will be joined by Assembly of First Nations Alberta Regional Chief Craig Makinaw and Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations Vice Chief David Pratt to address systemic issues—racism and discrimination, they say—that the family has experienced within the child welfare process.

The family objects to the “deliberate placement of their children to non-Indigenous homes,” reads a press statement, which continues Canada’s “historic agenda” in breaking up “Indigenous family structures and creating a loss of culture, identity, heritage and most of all connection to their families and Nations.”

The leaders are expected to call upon Alberta and Saskatchewan to immediately change the treatment of Indigenous families within their provincial court systems.