Mi'kmaq children get help to manoeuvre through health care barriers
Health Canada having trouble reaching Indigenous children in need
The Mi'kmaq Confederacy of P.E.I. is hiring someone to help connect First Nations children and their parents with the health services they need.
The new child first service coordinator position is being funded by the federal government to implement a program called Jordan's Principle. The program is named after Jordan Anderson, a five-year-old boy who died in hospital in 2005 after a drawn-out court battle between the federal government and Manitoba over who should pay his home-care costs.
It's trying to manoeuvre through those barriers.- Marilyn LeFrank
Marilyn LeFrank, director of child and family services for the Mi'kmaq Confederacy of P.E.I., said the confederacy doesn't know how many Island children may not be getting services they need, such as psychological assessments or medical equipment.
'To date when these needs have come up, the answer has been no'
"To date when these needs have come up, the answer has been no, and so people stopped asking," said LeFrank.
"The barriers are in place and it's trying to manoeuvre through those barriers, and I think the service coordinator position will really help us to determine how many children there are on P.E.I."
An official with Health Canada said so far 20 children have been identified in the Atlantic region who aren't getting services they need.
The federal government has earmarked up to $382 million over three years to implement Jordan's Principle.
With files from Island Morning