September 05, 2012
Canadian shares underfunding tale
A Canadian advocate for first nations’ children says indigenous people struggle to get equitable funding for main line services.
Dr Cindy Blackstock has been addressing this week’s Public Health Association in Wellington about taking action to achieve equity for children.
She says it’s difficult to separate issues of race and poverty, because first nations and indigenous children are far more likely to be impoverished.
“And it’s not because their families don’t want to care for them. It’s not because their families don’t want to be successful. It’s because of the multi-generational impacts of residential school and the chronic under-funding of services for aboriginal people that are culturally-based and in respectful ways, really put a weight at the bottom of the potential of every first national family to financially succeed,” she says.
Dr Blackstock says when she gets home she will be heading straight to the court in Ottawa for a case which challenges the Canadian government policy of funding services for children on reservations at a lower rate than for the same services outside.