Saskatchewan

First Nation kids being short-changed, advocate argues

First Nations children who live on reserve are not getting get their fair share of government money — and it's having an impact on their health, a social services advocate says.

Cindy Blackstock speaking at U of R tonight

Cindy Blackstock, who advocates on behalf of First Nations people about social services issues, is lecturing at the University of Regina's education auditorium at 7 p.m., Jan. 21. (CBC)

First Nations children who live on reserve are not getting get their fair share of government money — and it's having an impact on their health, a social services advocate says.

Cindy Blackstock, executive director of the First Nations Child & Family Caring Society of Canada, says on-reserve children receive 34 per cent less money from the government than children off reserve.

"They're really short-changing these kids," Blackstock told The Morning Edition host Sheila Coles.

"We saw documents from the federal government saying this inequality could lead to the potential death rate of these children. They know what the harms are, and they're still not doing the right thing."

Those who argue society can't afford this should think about the long-term costs, she said.

"If we raise a generation of kids who don't have the healthy childhoods that they want, we're going to be paying far more as taxpayers downstream," she said.

Blackstock will be giving a free speech Wednesday night at the University of Regina's education auditorium. The speech starts at 7 p.m. CST.

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