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CMAJ. 2010 June 15; 182(9): 941.
PMCID: PMC2882455

First Nations children

Cindy Blackstock, MM PhD, Executive Director

The editorial “Every child deserves a home”1 does not mention that First Nations children are six to eight times more likely to be in child welfare care. The factors driving the over-representation of First Nations children in care (poverty, poor housing, substance misuse by caregivers) are responsive to services, but equitable funding is needed to address the problem.2 There is growing evidence that successful adoption placements must fully respect a child’s cultural and linguistic identity. Despite this, the federal government provides no funding to First Nations on reserve for adoption programs, even though pilot adoption programs created by First Nations have won numerous international awards of excellence. Residential schools have closed, but sadly, many of the federal government’s policies undermining First Nations children continue to flourish.



1. Eggertson L, MacDonald N, Baldassi CL, et al. Every child deserves a home. CMAJ. 2009;181:E265–6. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
2. Trocmé N, Knoke D, Blackstock C. Pathways to the overrepresentation of Aboriginal children in Canada’s child welfare system. Soc Serv Rev. 2004;78:577–600.

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