CPHA Applauds the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal Ruling Acknowledging Discrimination of First Nations Children
OTTAWA, ON – January 28, 2016 – The Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA) applauds the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal for its ruling acknowledging the systemic racism that resulted in discrimination of First Nations children in Canada. “We are pleased with the Tribunal’s ruling acknowledging inequitable and insufficient funding for services to First Nations children,” says Ardene Robinson Vollman, Chair of CPHA’s Board of Directors. “It is now time for all parties to act swiftly but prudently to rectify the situation.”
CPHA congratulates the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada and the Assembly of First Nations that filed a complaint against the federal government of Canada in 2007 alleging that child welfare services provided to First Nations children and families on-reserve were flawed, inequitable and discriminatory. The Tribunal’s ruling finally and formally acknowledges unfair treatment of First Nations children.
“This decision must signal the beginning of another chapter in Canadian history; one that honours and respects the human rights of First Nations children and peoples,” says Suzanne Jackson, Chair-Elect of CPHA’s Board.
Racism negatively impacts health in a variety of ways, including economic and social deprivation, socially inflicted trauma, and inadequate health and social services. The discriminatory actions of our government have caused First Nations children on reserve to experience undue suffering and health outcomes that are much lower than elsewhere in Canada.
CPHA is committed to sustained action that leads to improvement in health equity. CPHA and its members are increasingly interested in exploring the pathways that connect racialization and health. CPHA works in partnership with other organizations to take action on the structural barriers to health equity for all Canadians.
CPHA is pleased with the Statement from Canada’s Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs and Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada welcoming the Tribunal’s Ruling and supports the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada and Assembly of First Nations in their calls for federal action on this issue.