FNCARES - Featured Resources
FNCARES develops resources to educate about the structural drivers of disadvantage and encourage discussion and actions that promote culturally-based equity and justice for First Nations children and youth.
(Dis)placed: Indigenous Youth and the Child Welfare System - Learning Guide for Professionals Working With Children and Youth (2020)
by Melisa Brittain and Sarah Auger, with help from Kayla Das
This new learning guide is designed to accompany our documentary film (Dis)placed: Indigenous Youth and the Child Welfare System, which features the voices of Indigenous youth reflecting on their prior involvement with the child welfare system and on their multiple strategies of resistance to assimilation and state control.
Designed especially for those working in the child welfare system and other allied professions involved in providing services to Indigenous children and youth impacted by the system, it is ideal for running workshops for professionals. It can also be adapted for less formal group or individual learning.
The guide is divided into four themed sections that provide crucial background information in the following areas:
- the connections between Canada’s colonial history and the ongoing inequities and discrimination that have led to the alarmingly high numbers of Indigenous children in the child welfare system;
- the importance of cultural continuity for Indigenous child well-being;
- the practice of moral courage in child welfare;
- taking action towards social justice for Indigenous children in solidarity with Indigenous communities.
Each of the four themed sections of the learning guide include suggested activities and discussion questions, and the references and additional resources sections provide learners with links to hundreds of sources to help them more easily expand their knowledge beyond the content of the film and the learning guide.
by Sarah Auger and Melisa Brittain
This teaching guide for grades 9-12 is designed to accompany the documentary film (Dis)placed: Indigenous Youth and the Child Welfare System. The film 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. The guide provides teachers with necessary background information on the connections between Canada's colonial history, especially residential schools, and the ongoing inequities experienced by First Nations children and youth. Questions and activities structured around four themed lessons will help students understand these connections, as well as the following: the role of family, community, and culture in identity formation and belonging; how art, storytelling, and the revival of cultural practices can be powerful sites of learning, resistance, and healing; and how they can exercise their citizenship responsibilities by taking action in an ongoing social justice movement that addresses the root causes of ongoing discrimination.
by Melisa Brittain and Cindy Blackstock
This five-chapter literature review and analysis examines existing research on First Nations child poverty contextualized within the historical and contemporary manifestations of colonialism in Canada.
Information sheets on First Nations Child Poverty: A Literature Review and Analysis:
- Information Sheet on entire publication: First Nations Child Poverty: A Literature Review and Analysis
- Information Sheet on Chapter One: Introduction: Echoes of Colonialism in First Nations Child Poverty
- Information Sheet on Chapter Two: Poverty by Design: The Canadian Government's Master Project
- Information Sheet on Chapter Three: Defining and Measuring First Nations Child Poverty
- Information Sheet on Chapter Four: Enduring Legacies: Child Welfare, Underfunding and Socio-Economic Impacts
- Information Sheet on Chapter Five: Poverty Interventions: Ensuring First Nations Child Well-being
Film and Video
This is a video of a free online public lecture with Cindy Blackstock, Hadley Friedland, and Koren Lightning-Earle on April 22, 2021.
In this webinar, the speakers discuss emerging issues with Bill C-92 since it became law on January 1, 2020. Discussion included issues pertaining to jurisdiction, national standards, funding, and the government's ongoing non-compliance with elements of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal's ruling on First Nations child welfare.
This is video of a free public lecture by Cindy Blackstock and Hadley Friedland on Nov. 6, 2019 in the Faculty of Law, University of Alberta, Edmonton.
Bill C-92, An Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families, became law on June 21, 2019. While many celebrate the bill’s unprecedented recognition of Indigenous People’s right to jurisdiction in relation to child and family services, others have raised grave concerns about its implementation. Organized by: First Nations Children's Action Research and Education Service, Faculty of Law, Wahkohtowin Law and Governance Lodge, Indigenous Law Students' Association, Faculty of Native Studies, Faculty of Education.
dir. Melisa Brittain, 2017, 42 min. Closed captioned.
Canada's colonial practice of forcibly removing Indigenous children from their families did not end with the closing of Indian residential schools. It continues today in the form of provincial and territorial child welfare systems, which remove Indigenous children and youth at unprecedented rates. This film 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. Read more about the film at KingCrip Productions. This film is distributed by V Tape. There are special rates for community organizations, public libraries and high schools.
This video shows the Q & A session with director Alanis Obomsawin and Cindy Blackstock following the FNCARES screening of We can't make the same mistake twice in Edmonton February 12, 2017. This stunning NFB documentary follows the Human Rights case launched against the government of Canada for racially discriminating against First Nations children. Click here to learn how you can watch We Can't Make the Same Mistake Twice (NFB, 2016, 163 min).
2015, 6:26 min. Closed Captioned
In this short video, Cindy Blackstock explains the reasons behind the Human Rights complaint filed against the Canadian government for racially discriminating against First Nations children in 2007. Underfunding of child welfare and essential services undermines First Nations child well-being, but for 6 years, the federal government tried to keep the case from being heard. In 2013, the case finally went before the Tribunal. The Tribunal ruled in favour of First Nations children in January 2016.
Podcast - LEx Conversations interviews Cindy Blackstock
In this podcast episode, Cindy Blackstock outlines the Breath of Life Theory and how it informs the Caring Society's approach to addressing systemic discrimination and injustices: https://voiced.ca/podcast_
- Suffer the Little Children: Genocide, Indigenous Nations and the Canadian State by Tamara Starblanket (2018)
- Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City by Tanya Talaga (2017)
- Children of the Broken Treaty: Canada's Lost Promise and One Girl's Dream, by Charlie Angus, 2015
- Walking this Path Together: Anti-Racist and Anti-Oppressive Child Welfare Practice (2nd ed), edited by Sohki Aski Esquao [Jeannine Carriere] & Susan Strega (2015)
- Indigenous adolescent development: Psychological, social and historical contexts by L.B. Whitbeck, M. Walls and K. Hartshorn (2014). This book is the result of an eight-year longitudinal diagnostic study of Indigenous adolescents and their families designed to address developmental, mental health and substance use issues and help communities design effective culturally-based prevention programs for adolescents in tribal communities. The study involved 746 tribally-enrolled adolescents from four American Indian tribes and four Canadian First Nations who were followed from early adolescence into early adulthood. In Chapter 10 (pages 116-125), the authors argue that every level of Indigenous adolescent development is permeated by the historical and current effects of ethnic cleansing, creating the unique historical, geographical and cultural contexts in which North American Indigenous adolescents grow up. They propose a distinct model of Indigenous adolescent development (see diagram on page 117) that can take into account the unique settings and cultural influences in which Indigenous adolescents are growing up, and they discuss each element in the model in the rest of the chapter.
- Aboriginal/Indigenous Index of Web Links, University of Alberta
- Racial Equity Resource Guide - Designed by America Healing, a strategy for working towards racial healing and equity, this interactive online tool helps organizations and individuals build their own resource guides for addressing racial inequity in their communities. Although designed in the U.S., the resources in the category of 'racial healing' could prove especially useful for Canadians as we continue to work towards reconciliation, and towards equity for First Nations children.
- Canadian Child Welfare Research Portal
- Keep the Promise, Indigenous Child Poverty
- Health of American Indian or Alaska Native Population - This website provides U.S. data on the "Health of American Indian or Alaska Native Population"
Articles, Reports & Journals
Executive Summary of the Report:
In the last decades, health in the Region of the Americas has improved dramatically, yet many people are being left behind. PAHO has established the Commission on Equity and Health Inequalities in the Americas to analyze the impact of drivers influencing health, while proposing actions to improve inequalities in health. According to the evidence presented in this report, much of ill health is socially determined. Factors such as socioeconomic position, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability status, being a migrant—alone or in combination—can contribute to marked inequalities in health on life. The analysis also reveals that other structural factors, such as climate change, environmental threats, and one’s relationship with the land, as well as the continuing impact of colonialism and racism, are also slowing progress towards a dignified life and enjoying the highest attainable standards of health. Furthermore, the impact of daily life conditions shows that the effect of inequalities is seen at the start of life. The report provides examples of successful policies, programs, and actions implemented in countries and presents 12 recommendations to achieve health equity, calling for coordinated actions among local and national governments, transnational organizations, and civil society to jointly address the social determinants of health.
- Federal Liberal Budget fails First Nations children, families: Blackstock, APTN National News, March 22, 2016
- Children of the Sixties Scoop tell their stories, CBC News, March 20, 2016
- Article: Why is Canada ignoring the health of Aboriginal peoples?
- Children of the Broken Treaty eye-opening read for Canadians, CBC News, Sept. 9, 2015
- Poverty or prosperity: Indigenous children in Canada. Macdonald and Wilson, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, 2013.
- Why am I Poor? First Nations child poverty in Ontario. Best Start Resource Centre, 2012.
- Bibliography of research on structural risk for First Nations children and youth
- A Literature Review and Annotated Bibliography on Aspects of Aboriginal Child Welfare in Canada (2005)
- May 2008 Report by Auditor General of Canada on First Nations Child and Family Service Program, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
- First Peoples Child and Family Review
- Reconciliation in Aboriginal Child Welfare and Child Health: National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health, Fact Sheet
- Got Empathy? Kids Do!: An Interview with Cindy Blackstock
- Reconciliation in Action- Canadian Teachers’ Federation: Aboriginal Education
- Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect (CIS) 2008
- Child and Youth Advocate, Alberta, Annual Report: 2011-2012
- United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: Indigenous Adolescents
- Ethical Principles, Dilemmas and Risks in Collecting Data on Violence against Children
- Report demands greater focus on aboriginal youths - Kelly Cryderman for the Calgary Herald, November 6, 2012
- Federal Aboriginal Affairs department spying on advocate for First Nations children - Annette Francis for APTN’s National News
Audio and Video
- Audio: Cindy Blackstock on the 2016 Federal Budget, CBC News, Ottawa, March 23, 2016
- Audio: 163,000 Reasons Why Cindy Blackstock Keeps Fighting for Kids, CBC's Unreserved, March 6, 2016
- Video: The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal on First Nations Child Welfare - Dr. Cindy Blackstock's talk at the University of Alberta on March 15, 2016, for Education, Diversity and Inclusion Week 2016
- Video: Reconciliation in Post-Secondary: Implementing the TRC Recommendations - Speakers: Dr. Eber Hampton, Charlene Bearhead, and Dr. Cindy Blackstock, University of Alberta, Oct. 14, 2015
- Video: Eleven facts about the gap between First Nations and the rest of Canada
- Video: Marshall Ganz on Making Social Movements Matter
- Video: Letters to Canada, I am a Witness: Canadian Human Rights Tribunal Hearing, First Nations Children and Family Caring Society
- Radio Interview: Cindy Blackstock on Aboriginals and Idle No More - CBC Radio’s The Sunday Edition with Michael Enright
- Radio Interview: Crusader of Aboriginal child services Cindy Blackstock won’t back down - CBC Radio’s Trailbreakers