Premiers face pressure to help aboriginal kids

Ted Hughes calls for action, not further study, on underlying problems that lead to a high rate of first nations children being taken from their parents

By Rob Shaw, Vancouver Sun

VICTORIA — Canada’s premiers will attempt this week to tackle the unacceptably high rate of aboriginal kids in government care.

 

The issue is on the agenda largely due to Ted Hughes, a former B.C. judge and the architect of B.C.’s child welfare system. He persuaded Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger to champion the issue at the Council of the Federation meeting that starts Wednesday in Charlottetown.

The over-representation of First Nations children in care will also be discussed with First Nations leaders during separate meetings, said Selinger.

“My view is we should come out with a joint working group that will prepare an action plan that we can recommend and implement across the country,” Selinger said in an interview with The Vancouver Sun.

Selinger agreed with Hughes, who has argued provincial and federal governments need to act, and not launch more studies or inquiries.

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