International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is August 9th. To acknowledge this day we wanted to share an initiative working to create social change across Ontario and Canada that you can do in your schools, with friends or in the community.
The Moccasin Project’s goal is to eradicate racism, reduce the number of Indigenous children in foster care, reunite families and rebuild communities by engaging in education and citizen action. The project is bringing awareness to the issue of First Nations, Metis and Inuit children in foster care by creating a pair of moccasins to represent each of the 163,000 children affected.
So what can you do?
- Get the facts – get awareness of the issue and spread that awareness to others, knowing a few key statistics goes a long way.
- Try to find a local First Nations advocate or Indigenous organization that could be part of your project.
- Make Moccasins – you can get templates or buy a kit from the website
- Contact your MPP, the Premier and/or the Prime Minister calling them to address the Truth and Reconciliation Commission calls to action around Child Welfare, respond to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruling and fully implement Jordan's Principle.
- Spread the word – share the project with others. If you do it in your school or community, see if local media will cover it. Or, include it in the school newsletter, post your actions on social media (tweet using #waiting4ucanada or #ItStartsWith Us) or challenge your friends or other schools to see who can make the most moccasins.
See these resources and many more at The Moccasin Project website.
There are many exciting ways to take action to address this huge inequity in Canadian society. You can be a part of the change. Use your power and privilege for good, make some moccasins, share your story and get others involved.
“True reconciliation begins when everyone gets involved and works together to make a difference.” – The Moccasin Project
Did you know?
350 Indigenous children are taken away before they are one month old.
There are more children in care today than were in residential schools.
48% of all children in foster care are Indigenous, even though they account for only 7% of the overall child population.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission recognized the child welfare system as a legacy of residential schools and as a barrier to reconciliation and made five recommendations to address the system.
“In a landmark ruling released on January 26, 2016, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal found that the Canadian government is racially discriminating against 163,000 First Nations children and their families by providing flawed and inequitable child welfare services ("FNCFS Program") and failing to implement Jordan's Principle to ensure equitable access to government services available to other children.” - First Nations Caring Society