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Indigenous Children & Youth

Access to Justice through Reconciliation: Responding to the Crisis of Indigenous Children & Youth in Care

The Action Group on Access to Justice (TAG) has convened an Indigenous Justice initiative to examine the over-representation of Indigenous children and youth in care in Ontario. The method is exploratory, focused on identifying potential action areas where TAG, as a facilitator, convenor or partner can make a useful contribution to addressing this critical justice issue.

TAG employed consultant Wendelyn Johnson to facilitate two preliminary engagement sessions, one with Indigenous youth and one with representatives of the larger community responsible for Indigenous children and youth in care, in Toronto,ON in March and May, 2016. These sessions were approached through the lens of reconciliation and access to justice for First Nations, Métis Nation and Inuit peoples.

These engagement sessions resulted in the identification of action areas for change at three levels: pre-care, in-care and post-care. The sessions identified several core issues that recur at all three phases of interaction with the child welfare system, and contribute to the over-representation of Indigenous children and youth both in the child welfare system and in the justice system. Feedback from these sessions is presented in our cluster report Indigenous Justice: Examining the Over-Representation of Indigenous Children and Youth.

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