KAIROS urges you to support the Spirit Bear Plan
The Spirit Bear Plan has been launched! This initiative by the First Nations Child & Family Caring Society of Canada calls on you to help end inequalities in public services for First Nations children, youth and families by urging the Canadian government to adopt this Plan.
Spirit Bear calls on:
- CANADA to immediately comply with all rulings by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ordering it to immediately cease its discriminatory funding of First Nations child and family services. The order further requires Canada to fully and properly implement Jordan’s Principle
- PARLIAMENT to ask the Parliamentary Budget Officer to publicly cost out the shortfalls in all federally funded public services provided to First Nations children, youth and families (education, health, water, child welfare, etc.) and propose solutions to fix it.
- GOVERNMENT to consult with First Nations to co-create a holistic Spirit Bear Plan to end all of the inequalities (with dates and confirmed investments) in a short period of time sensitive to children’s best interests, development and distinct community needs.
- GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTS providing services to First Nations children and families to undergo a thorough and independent 360° evaluation to identify any ongoing discriminatory ideologies, policies or practices and address them. These evaluations must be publicly available.
- ALL PUBLIC SERVANTS including those at a senior level, to receive mandatory training to identify and address government ideology, policies and practices that fetter the implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.
According to Cindy Blackstock, Executive Director of the Caring Society:
“The inequities for First Nations children and families are cross-cutting in programs like water, early childhood, education, health, child welfare etc. It is the compound nature of the inequalities that place such stress on families and the children/youth they are caring for.
“Since Confederation there has never been a costing out of the aggregate value of all of the inequalities in public services provided to First Nations. Instead, individual programs deficits have been costed out and then only partially addressed in a piece meal fashion.
“The Spirit Bear Plan proposes to ask the Parliamentary Budget Officer to cost all federally funded public services and propose solutions. The PBO report provides a baseline so that First Nations can work with Canada to end all the inequalities, taking into full account the unique cultural and contextual situation of each First Nation. The plan also includes recommendations to shift government culture to better support the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action and end the discriminatory service provision.
“If they can rebuild Europe in 10 years after WWII they can end inequalities for First Nations families much sooner than that, taking into account the unique cultural and contextual needs of communities.”