Have a Heart Day is an annual appeal for all First Nations kids to have the opportunity to have a healthy and safe childhood. Lead by the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, Have a Heart Day calls on the federal government to end the widespread and systemic underfunding of basic services that First Nations children and families need and deserve, from safe, quality schools to culturally-appropriate family supports and services.
Individual actions and community events take place on and around February 14th (Valentines Day). Last year at least 70 Have a Heart Day events were held across Canada and more than 10,000 Valentine`s cards and messages were sent to Parliamentarians to show that Canadians care about fairness and justice for First Nations children.
Amnesty International is proud that our members have supported this appeal each year through events and individual letter-writing. Here’s how you can get involved.
1. TAKE ACTION NOW
In 2016, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruled that the federal government was discrimininating against First Nations children by underfunding child and family services within its jurisdiction. Full implementation of the Tribunal ruling is now long overdue.
>>> Sign our ongoing action appeal
2. ORGANIZE IN YOUR COMMUNITY
Visit the Child and Family Caring Society’s website for ideas and resources for organizing your own Have a Heart Day event in your own community.
Be sure to register you event to let the Child and Family Caring Society know how many letters are being sent.
3. JOIN THE MOVMENT ON TWITTER
Use the hashtag #HaveaHeartDay
10 year olds from Kitigan Zibi mark 10 years of fighting for indigenous children’s rights #HaveaHeartDay @AmnestyNow pic.twitter.com/w76zToE3Z0
— Amnesty Ontario (@AmnestyOntario) February 14, 2017
4. LEARN MORE
The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal has once again ruled that the federal government continues to discriminate against First Nations children. The Federal government has responded by promising ‘fundamental’ change including an end to discrimination in funding.
In 2017, Amnesty worked with the Caring Society and many other partners to sum up the key issues in a short submission to the United Nations top anti-racism body.