Its findings, based on 2006 census data, are shocking and point to an unofficial apartheid that aboriginal people have long complained of.
They explain why going to an Indian reserve in Canada feels like entering a foreign country.
Half of all First Nations kids live in poverty. In Manitoba and Saskatchewan, the rate jumps to nearly two-thirds. In B.C., which is the third worst, one in three aboriginal children live in poverty.
Yet, the report garnered little attention from media or, one suspects, from governments.
What’s even more striking is the disparity between First Nations kids and the lucky kids.
The lucky ones are the kids who have Canadian-born, Caucasian parents. Their chance of living in poverty is one in 12. If these were the only kids living here, Canada would out-perform every other country when it comes to child poverty.
But add in the not-so-lucky ones and Canada sits at 25 among 30 countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.
It’s here where the federal government bears responsibility.
Between 1996 and 2006, transfers for social services, health care, education and welfare to on-reserve First Nations children increased by two per cent each year — or just over 21 per cent in total. The population increased 29 per cent during the same period.
Eliminating child poverty isn’t cheap. But doing nothing has costs as well.(Vancouver Sun, Bramham)
“Adopt the pace of nature, her secret is patience.-Ralph Waldo Emerson