150+ Canadians Day 21: Cindy Blackstock

Cindy Blackstock contributes to peace by fighting discrimination against First Nations children in the Child Welfare System. #Canada150

Cindy Blackstock is a member of the Gitksan Nation who has worked in the field of child and family services for over twenty years. She began on the front lines as a social worker for provincial and First Nations family service agencies in British Columbia.

Ms. Blackstock filed a human rights complaint against the federal government in 2007.  On January 28, 2016 the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruled that the federal government’s longstanding underfunding of child and family services on First Nations reserves is a form of racial discrimination.  This occurred despite the opposition of the government to the claim all along the process.  She had been under surveillance by the Department of Aboriginal Affairs since the launching of the claim. During this time under the spotlight, she became known for her passionate speeches on the subject of equality for First Nations. In this video, she makes the case against a strategy known as “incremental equality“.

Cindy is currently serving as executive director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada. This national organization supports First Nations child and family service agencies and regional organizations by providing research, professional development, and networking services.

Want to do your part to help make a difference for First Nations Children and Youth? Cindy offers seven free ways you can help.