The dark legacy of Indian residential schools lives on in Canada's child and family services system, according to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission which, in its final report released today, called for sweeping changes to the country's child welfare system.
"The schools were intended to sever the link between aboriginal children and parents," the report states.
"They did this work only too well. Family connections were permanently broken."
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- TRC final report: by the numbers
- CFS seizes a Manitoba newborn a day, First Nations advocate says
- Hundreds of children with social services ties died in Sask.
The report's first recommendation calls upon "federal, provincial, territorial, and aboriginal governments to commit to reducing the number of aboriginal children in care." Its first five recommendations all address child welfare.
Statistics Canada says nearly half of the 30,000 children in the system are indigenous.
In Manitoba, there are over 10,000 kids in care — 85 per cent of which are are indigenous.
A recent report says Winnipeg police deal with around 550 missing persons reports a month, and 83 per cent of them involve kids in care.
The Children's Advocate for Manitoba's First Nations says social workers are seizing one newborn baby a day and, in Saskatchewan, 484 children connected to the CFS have died over the past two decades.