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Child advocates want fewer aboriginal children in child welfare

The Council of Child and Youth Advocates is calling on the federal government to reduce the number of aboriginal children in child welfare systems. 'Enough already,' says Irwin Elman, the group's president.

95% of N.W.T. children under protection are aboriginal

"The research will provide a portrait of what some of these women have been through in hospitals, and finally make the truth known," said Marjolaine Sioui, the director general of the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Health and Social Services Commission and one of the partners in the research. (Chantal Dubuc/CBC)

The federal government is being called upon to reduce the number of aboriginal children living within the child welfare system.

This week, the Canadian Council of Child and Youth Advocates demanded action.   

“Enough already,” says Irwin Elman, President of the Council of Child and Youth Advocates.

“We as a country have heard this story, we cannot pretend we haven't heard this story.”

The group calls the situation a national tragedy.

Across the country, aboriginal children dominate the statistics in child welfare systems.

In the Yukon, statistics say 80 per cent of youth in welfare care are aboriginal, even though aboriginal people make up only about 25 per cent of the population.

In the Northwest Territories, 95 per cent of the approximately 1,000 children who receive child protection services each year are aboriginal, even though aboriginal people make up only about half the territory’s population.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Elman says that makes this the perfect time for action.

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