Children’s Advocate Reacts To Yellow Quill Deaths

Thursday, February 14, 2008 at 15:12



Saskatchewan’s Children’s Advocate says he hopes some positive steps can be taken following the recent tragedy on the Yellow Quill First Nation.


Marvin Bernstein says questions need to be asked about whether or not the system failed Kaydence and Santana Pauchay.


He says the last thing the public should do right now is consider the deaths an isolated event that requires no further action.


Bernstein says one area he would like to see adjusted is the federal government’s funding formula for child and family services units agencies on reserves.


He says not enough money is allocated to these facilities to offer preventative and community-based programming.


Bernstein adds too many First Nations kids continue to fall between the cracks for the problems to be ignored.


He also worries some kids aren’t being accounted for when various government agencies talk about the number of kids in care.


Bernstein says the annual reports from the Ministry of Social Services indicate roughly 3,000 kids are being cared for by the child welfare system.


He says that figure tends to exclude many Aboriginal children who are also being cared for.


Bernstein notes his agency uses aggregate numbers, while some Aboriginal groups use their own data.


He argues it would make more sense for everyone to use a common table, so problems could be agreed upon more readily.