This week, communities across Canada are speaking out for the future of First Nations children and youth.
The annual Have a Heart Day campaign (on and around February 14th) is an opportunity for ordinary Canadians to show their support for basic principles of fairness and equity.
The campaign was launched by our friends at the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society in response to the shocking gap in basic government services – including education, healthcare and family services – facing many First Nations children and families on reserves.
This year’s Have a Heart Day campaign is particularly timely.
In the coming weeks, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal will rule whether the federal government’s persistent underfunding of family services on reserves is a form of discrimination. The complaint was launched by the Caring Society and the Assembly of First Nations in response to the large numbers of First Nations children being put into foster care because on reserve children’s didn’t have the resources carry out less drastic forms of intervention.
Government documents revealed through this case show that federal officials have long been well aware of a serious problem of underfunding not only of family services, but of a wide range of services essential to the health and well-being of First Nations youth.
This is all the more reason to take this opportunity to let politicians know that Canadians do care about the rights of First Nations children and youth.
Send a Valentine asking Members of Parliamenbt to Have a Heart for First Nations children.
Spread the word by tweeting #HaveaHeartDay and #Witness4FirstNationsKids
Learn more and get more involved.