When child welfare authorities remove children from their caregivers because of concerns about abuse or neglect, it can be traumatic and tragic for everyone involved – children, their families and even their communities. Being admitted into care comes with far-reaching consequences that can have a negative impact on children’s future ability to thrive. It is an unfortunate reality that some children need to be placed in care to keep them safe. But too often, for First Nations, Métis, Inuit, Black and other racialized families, being involved with the child welfare system and having a child removed is fraught with concerns that the system is not meeting their or their children’s needs, is harmful, and may be discriminatory.
This report summarizes key points of the discussion and recommendations arising from the three-day Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights Dialogue. It features the collective wisdom of Indigenous Elders, knowledge keepers, academics, political and government leaders, advocates, lawyers, policy makers and activists. Representatives of the OHRC, Human Rights Legal Support Centre, Social Justice Tribunals of Ontario, and the Canadian Human Rights Commission also took part.