The Ontario Association of Social Workers (OASW) announces the inaugural recipients of OASW’s Champion of Social Change and Human Rights Award - Dr. Cindy Blackstock, Executive Director of the First Nations Child & Family Caring Society of Canada, and lawyers Sarah Pentney and Daniel Poulin from the Canadian Human Rights Commission.
A passionate and courageous advocate for equitable treatment of First Nation children, Dr. Blackstock and the Assembly of First Nations co-filed a human rights complaint against the Federal Government in 2007. The complaint cited a long-standing pattern of underfunding child welfare services for First Nations children living on reserves affecting 163,000 First Nations children and families. Nine years later, on January 26, 2016, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal unanimously upheld the complaint about the underfunding of child welfare services and failure to properly implement Jordan’s Principle.
“It’s all about the children” said Dr. Blackstock. She also credited the dedication and tireless work of the legal team with the Tribunal finding. Dr. Blackstock’s focus now is ensuring that the Government of Canada rights this wrong without further delay.