Campaigns and Issues

Celebrate Bear Witness Day – May 10


On May 10, people across British Columbia will bring their teddy bears to work, school, daycare and everywhere to “bear witness” to Canada’s continued failure to live up to Jordan’s Principle.

First Call will have our teddy bears with us at our coalition meeting that day, and we encourage you to do the same—send your photos to First Nations Child & Family Caring Society and spread the word on social media #Waiting4UCanada and #JordansPrinciple!

Background

In December 2007, the House of Commons passed a unanimous motion to support Jordan’s Principle. The BC government committed to implementing the Principle in the 2008 Speech from the Throne.

This ought to have ensured Indigenous children across Canada received the same public services as all other children in Canada. Ten years later, however, this is still not the case and Jordan’s Principle has yet to be implemented properly.

In spite of a Canadian Human Rights Tribunal order that gave Canada until May 10, 2016, to end its practice of racial discrimination as fiscal policy, five-year-old Jordan River Anderson’s preventable death in 2005 remains an unanswered tragedy.

Indigenous children across Canada still receive less funding for child welfare and other services than other children.

Here in British Columbia, First Call and many others have been pushing for Jordan’s Principle to be implemented since 2008.

This year, we renew that push in joining Cindy Blackstock and the First Nations Child & Family Caring Society to celebrate Bear Witness Day in carrying our teddy bears around with us on May 10.

First Call is already working on the next step, which will be to draft a statement regarding the federal government’s non-compliance with the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal order to stop discriminating against First Nations children on reserve through unequal funding for child welfare, health and education services.

Take action

Read more about Jordan’s Principle, visit the Bear Witness Day page on the Caring Society website. Keep an eye out for more from First Call in support of First Nations children’s right to the services they need to grown up safely at home, get a good education, be healthy and be proud of who they are leading up to Have a Heart Day on February 14, 2018.

More spring reconciliation

Honouring Memories Planting Dreams encourages people of all ages to plant heart gardens in May and June in memory of the children who passed in residential schools and as a pledge to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action. Please share this video and then plan your heart garden and send your photos to inspire others. Twitter hashtag #TRCHeartgardens.