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TORONTO, ON (Oct 16, 2014) — Ontario Regional Chief is calling upon all communities in Ontario to stand with all First Nations children for the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal taking place October 20-24 as the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada makes its final arguments for the betterment of the First Nations child welfare in this country.

The First Nations Child and Family Caring Society led by Cindy Blackstock has filed a joint human rights complaint with the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) alleging that the federal government’s flawed and inequitable provision of First Nations child and family services and failure to implement Jordan’s Principle is discriminatory pursuant to the Canadian Human Rights Act.

“This is an important time for our communities to support the proposed changes to the child and family services system to eliminate the discrimination and inequities that currently exist,” Ontario Regional Chief Beardy said. “At the All Ontario Chiefs Conference in June 2014, First Nation leadership in Ontario restated that children are the first and foremost priority of our Nations, and further asserted their responsibility to the care and welfare of our children.”

During the week of October 20-24, 2014, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal will hear the final arguments for this case. After more than a year of hearings, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal will hear closing arguments in the First Nations child welfare case. The case will set an important precedent for addressing inequitable Federal Government service delivery to First Nations peoples in other areas such as education, health, housing, and water.

Between October 20 and October 24, 2014, during the presentations of final arguments, we are asking that communities plan rallies and perform ceremonies such as Sacred Fire Ceremonies, Pipe Ceremonies, Singing, Sunrise Ceremonies and prayers in our schools, health centres and band offices in support of the final hearing of this case. A dramatic display of support will benefit in two ways. Showing our support for changing the system will encourage those in positions of authority to make the right decision and will also give positive encouragement to those fighting for change. The Chiefs of Ontario closing submission is on Tuesday, October 21 between 4-5 pm.

Opening Ceremony will take place on October 20, 2014 beginning at 9:15 am. Children and school groups are welcome and encouraged to attend. Closing arguments will be LIVE WEBCAST on ‘I am a Witness’ and APTN (Live web cast begins at 9:15 am Eastern Standard time on October 20, 2014).

The Chiefs of Ontario is a political forum and a secretariat for collective decision making, action, and advocacy for the 133 First Nation communities located within the boundaries of the province of Ontario, Canada. Follow Chiefs of Ontario on Facebook or Twitter @ChiefsOfOntario.

Get Involved – advocacy support

Between October 20 and October 24, 2014, during the presentations of final arguments, we are asking that communities plan rallies and perform ceremonies such as Sacred Fire Ceremonies, Pipe Ceremonies, Singing, Sunrise Ceremonies and prayers in our schools, health centres and band offices in support of the final hearing of this case.

A dramatic display of support will benefit in two ways. Showing our support for changing the system will encourage those in positions of authority to make the right decision and will also give positive encouragement to those fighting for change.

Click here for the Tribunal schedule (Opening Ceremony on October 20, 2014 begins at 9:15am).

The hearing room has a capacity of 100 (See Tribunal Room Layout). Seating is on a first come, first serve basis.

Address: Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, 160 Elgin Street, 11th Floor

Children and school groups are welcome and encouraged to attend (Space available October 21, 22 & 23).

Closing arguments will be LIVE WEBCAST for free on ‘I am a Witness’ (Live web cast begins at 9:15 am Eastern Standard time on October 20, 2014).

What Witnesses can do

Social media is a great tool for sharing information and thinking critically with others about issues that matter.  Share what you think about what you’ve witnessed using: #Witness4FirstNationsKids on Twitter, Facebook or other social media.

Take a selfie with the Caring Society Bear or a sign of support and share using #Witness4FirstNationsKids

Click here for other participation ideas.

For more information and to show support, contact info@fncaringsociety.com or visit www.fncaringsociety.com