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October 2022

National Day for Truth & Reconciliation: Calls to Action Webinar – Recording

On Friday, September 30th, 2022 Native Child and Family Services of Toronto hosted a webinar and simultaneously released an annual report back to community addressing the priorities for redesigning child welfare to help reduce the number of Indigenous children in care. Listen to our recorded webinar as our special guests join in a conversation around the importance of the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation and the Truth and Reconciliation’s Calls to Action.

Joined by our host Bob Goulais, Knowledge Carrier, Alita Suave, Singer and Language Instructor, Rollin Baldhead and the following special guests:

  • Hon. Chystia Freeland, Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister of Canada
  • Hon. Merrilee Fullerton. Ontario’s Minister of Children, Community and Social Services
  • John Tory, Mayor of Toronto
  • Mae Maracle, NCFST Board President
  • Jama Maxie, Former Youth in Care
  • Jeffrey Schiffer, NCFST Executive Director
  • Ron Hodson, NCFST Director of People and Culture
  • Melissa Hamonic, Associate Director of Holistic Services
  • Jennifer Turner, NCFST Manager of Child and Family Wellbeing

Download the Indigenous Child Welfare Reform Annual Report to Community

* Our apologies, the audio fades in and out through parts of the webinar.*

Indigenous Child Welfare Reform Annual Report to Community

On Canada’s first NDTR, Native Child and Family Services of Toronto (NCFST) announced its commitment and dedication to decolonize Indigenous child welfare services in the city of Toronto. Over this past year, NCFST went through a critical examination of our child and family wellbeing services, including standards, service eligibility criteria, assessment tools, and current practices. This report addresses priorities for redesigning child welfare with the intent to help reduce the number of Indigenous children in care.

Many thanks to community who participated and help us every day in our continuous efforts to heal and find a better way forward.

Annual Report to Community

As part of our annual report back to community for 2022, our Quality Assurance and Decolonization team has prepared a separate report on the activities, reform and discussion ideas provided by both the Community Advisory Circle and various Staff consultation processes, including the Staff Advisory Group.

Transformation in Action at NCTST Report

September 2022

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation: Calls to Action

September 30th is Canada’s National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (NDTR). On this day, we honour the children who never returned home from Canada’s residential schools along with the Survivors, as well as their families and communities. Remembering the painful and tragic history and acknowledging the ongoing impacts of residentials schools is a vital component of the reconciliation process with Indigenous peoples.

On Canada’s first NDTR, Native Child and Family Services of Toronto (NCFST) announced new commitments dedicated to continuing our journey to decolonize Indigenous child welfare services in the city of Toronto. Over the past year, NCFST went through a critical examination of our child and family well-being services, including standards, service eligibility criteria, assessment tools, and current practices.

NCFST invites you to join us on Friday, September 30th at 10 AM – 12 PM where we will provide a report back to community addressing the priorities for redesigning child welfare to help reduce the number of Indigenous children in care. During this virtual event we will have special guests join in the conversation around the importance of this report and we will share some exciting new announcements.

To register for this event, please click HERE!

May 2021

NCFST Statement on the 215 Indigenous Children found buried at an Indian Residential School in Kamloops BC.

It is with tremendous grief that Native Child and Family Services of Toronto (NCFST) expresses our deepest condolences and prayers to the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc community and all the West Coast Nations for the 215 Indigenous children found buried at the Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia.

For the 215 kids, 430 parents, 860 grandparents, and for the innumerable aunties, uncles, cousins, friends, and relatives NCFST) stands in unity with all our relations during this time of immense loss and healing. Children are the root of our culture; they are our sacred bundles and gifts from Creator. As we walk in solidarity with the community, we recognize the tremendous weight of these losses and the importance of creating space for folks to come together to grieve, heal, and honour the lives of those who have moved onto the Spirit World. NCFST will be providing sacred fires and other ceremonies and supports at several of our locations that span the North, South, East, and West locations of the City over the next nine days to ensure staff and community can safely offer tobacco and prayers.

The discovery of the mass grave is a reminder of the genocide perpetuated by Indian Residential Schools and has triggered deep emotional responses across Turtle Island. The intergenerational trauma caused by the Residential Schools, with the stated policy to “Kill the Indian to save the Child”, is a stark reminder that more action is needed to fully address current and past injustices committed against Indigenous peoples, communities, and nations.

Now is the time to act on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action. Now is the time for accountability and concrete action to achieve true reconciliation and devolution of services to Indigenous organizations and communities. Moreover, the TRC made six recommendations regarding missing children and burial grounds, including a call for the federal government to work with churches, Indigenous communities, and former residential school students “to establish and maintain an online registry of residential school cemeteries, including, where possible, plot maps showing the location of deceased residential school children. NCFST supports these calls to action including searching the grounds at other former residential schools to continue the journey of truth and reconciliation and support the healing journey that many families will need.

NCFST was founded by the urban Aboriginal community of Toronto to address the aftermath of Indian Residential Schools and mainstream child welfare. Over more than three decades we have grown into Canada’s largest multi-service urban Aboriginal agency providing holistic, culture-based programs and services and child protection for Aboriginal children and families. An Elder once asked, if it takes three days to walk into the bush, how many days will it take to walk back out again? The answer, of course, is three days. Canada’s colonial legacy runs deep, and we know it will take many years to address it. We must walk together at a brisk pace not only for all the children we have lost walking into the bush, but for all of those who have and will be born as we walk out again.

With our deepest respect and love.

All my relations

If you need support call 1-866-925-4419

The Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line is available 24-hours a day for anyone experiencing pain or distress as a result of his or her Residential school experience.

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