Children’s aid is apologizing for the harm that child welfare has done to Indigenous children.
The Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies hosted a gathering, and acknowledged and apologized for the harmful role that child welfare has played historically, and continues to play in the lives of Ontario Indigenous children, families and communities.
At the Toronto-based gathering, Indigenous participants – including survivors of the Sixties Scoop and Residential Schools – spoke about the devastating impact that the child welfare system has had. Chief Marcia Brown Martel, lead plaintiff in the Sixties Scoop lawsuit, Renee Linklater, and Rodney Howe all shared their experience of being apprehended by child welfare as part of the Sixties Scoop.
“We apologize to the children, mothers and fathers who have been hurt by the Sixties Scoop, which saw thousands of Indigenous children taken from their home, families and communities across Canada,” said Mary Ballantyne, CEO of OACAS. “The Sixties Scoop and many current practices have resulted in cultural genocide for the Indigenous people of Ontario. The words of apology and regret I share today are an acknowledgement that we must do better. We have a long path towards Reconciliation and healing of theses historic injustices,” she said.
In September, Minister of Children and Youth Services Michael Coteau visited Wauzhushk Onigum, joined by Grand Council Treaty 3 Ogichidaa Francis Kavanaugh to sign a relationship agreement. The agreement allows Treaty 3 to transform the system of services for children and youth to better meet the needs of Anishinaabe children, youth and families.
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Treaty 3 signs ‘historic’ agreement