Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations Chief Bobby Cameron says the FSIN is in full support of the grassroots movement by the Justice for Our Stolen Children Camp in trying to change the justice and child welfare systems.
Cameron was in Regina Thursday to meet with the protesters.
“It’s about finding equal justice, addressing the racism that obviously exists in the justice system and the provincial social services system. The child welfare system currently is failing our children. This is the focus point and we’ll continue to do what we can to do to rectify it, to fix it,” Cameron said. “Every one of us has had family members or someone close to us who has fallen through the cracks of the justice system or child welfare system.”
Cameron gave an example of how he thought the justice system was unfairly treating First Nations People, saying prosecutors continue to appeal an acquittal of a First Nations man charged with illegal hunting, but won’t appeal the not-guilty verdict in the killing of a First Nations man.
Cameron is calling for the child welfare and justice systems to better reflect Indigenous perspectives saying First Nations families are capable of raising their children. “Our folks have been ready to take care of their own children. We have many qualified and able ready families within our First Nations that will do justice for our children by caring for them, nurturing them and showing them the tools and skills through language and culture. Instilling pride, instilling confidence in our children so they become productive adults when they grow up,” Cameron explained.
The protesters laid out several requests to five provincial cabinet ministers Monday in Fort Qu’Appelle, calling for systemic changes not only to justice and child welfare, but for a moratorium on adoptions to amending foster care.
Attorney General Don Morgan says he made no commitments to the camp, but said that halting adoptions was out of the question. Morgan says before the government meets with the camp again he wanted to talk with Tribal Council leaders and the FSIN about meeting. Cameron says he has not spoken to Morgan. The government is also asking that the camp be dismantled in a show of good faith, ahead of a proposed second meeting. As the camp approaches 130 days, Cameron says it will be up to the camp itself to decide when they will tear it down.
(PHOTO: Justice for our Stolen Children Camp at Wascana Park. Photo by Dan Jones.)