As organizations entrusted with the responsibility of supporting the safety and well-being of the children and young people in our communities, the Sarnia Lambton Children’s Aid Society and Chatham-Kent Children’s Services are very alarmed about the negative reaction being displayed by many n0n—|ndigenous individuals in response to the protests by and in support of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary Chiefs. These hurtful, harmful, misinformed and racist reactions are being seen online and being experienced in person.
As Canadians and as agencies that employ Indigenous people, partners with First Nation, Inuit and Metis communities and serves Indigenous children and families, we strongly denounce racism both in its individual expression and in its system of control and domination.
The Child, Youth and Family Services Act specifically states that:
“Systemic racism and the barriers it creates for children and families receiving services must
continue to be addressed.”
We work actively alongside our Indigenous partners to support the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being of their children. Racism undercuts that work in each aspect of well-being.
We recognize the rights of Indigenous people as set out in various Indigenous, provincial, federal and international laws as well as their inherent jurisdiction over their children. Indigenous children and young people have the right to safety as deﬁned by their world-view, cultures, heritage and traditions. This includes safe homes, safe water, safe places to play, the safety to protest when they feel their rights are being violated and safety from the devastating impacts of individual and systemic racism.
A Canada that is committed to reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples must recognize these rights and work together to dismantle the racism that is impacting them and their children on a daily basis.
We call on other organizations and individuals to publicly denounce the racism.
“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
– Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.