In a report prepared for the United Nations committee on the rights of the child, the groups say government funding for health, education and child welfare is much lower on reserves than off.
As a result, they say native kids often lack the basic necessities of life.
They point out that Canada signed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and its performance is under review right now."
One of the truths that I came to understand while meeting with representatives of band councils while developing the first summer literacy day camps, and spending last season working with Equay-wuk (Women's Circle) is that liberal white guilt about children's welfare in First Nations colludes with right-wing priorities to result in a "do-nothing" outcome. Well-meaning child welfare advocates too often allow themselves to be silenced because they feel that as white people, they cannot address First Nations issues, even when they know that education or child welfare dollars are not being used effectively in a community. There is not one set of problems with children's welfare in First Nations communities. Because these communities are self-governing, the picture differs from community from community and it is important for decision-makers and social justice advocates to understand that it is not a "one-size fits all" solution. It is messy and complex and if we care about justice for these children we have to be prepared to listen and also be prepared to speak out.
Sometimes it takes more than a village to raise a child when that village is failing the child. Sometimes it takes a nation to care and not to be silenced because of some ancient mistakes made by some of our ancestors.