1 Canadian Supplement to THE STATE OF THE WORLD'S children 2009. aboriginal children 's health : leaving no child behind ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS. UNICEF is the world's leader for children , working to save and protect children 's lives in 190 countries and territories. Around the globe, including in industrialized countries such as Canada, UNICEF works to ensure that children 's universal human rights are respected, protected and implemented. aboriginal children 's health : leaving no child behind would not have been possible without the generous contributions and support of a number of individuals and organizations. UNICEF Canada gratefully acknowledges.
2 UNICEF Canada/2008/Sri Utami The National Collaborating Centre for aboriginal health , University of Northern British Columbia, for spearheading the production of this report through its technical guidance and by generously sharing its resources The contributing authors for turning their research and experiential insights into the health of Canada's aboriginal children into a rich and thought-provoking analysis for Canadians The donation to UNICEF Canada from a visionary supporter who believes, as we do, that all Canadian children deserve the best we have to give We invite you to visit to support our ongoing campaigns and activities.
3 UNICEF Canada 2200 Yonge Street Suite 1100. Toronto, ON M4S 2C6 ISBN 0-921564-38-4. Tel: (416) 482-4444. Fax: (416) 482-8035. Canadian UNICEF Committee, 2009. Permission to reproduce any part of this publication is required. Please contact UNICEF Canada, Communications Department. The opinions and views expressed in this publication are those of the guest authors and do not necessarily represent the opinions or views of UNICEF Canada or its directors, officers, employees, agents, contributors, volunteers, affiliated organizations or sponsors. COVER PHOTO UNICEF Canada/2008/Sri Utami i CONTENTS. FOREWORD. Nigel Fisher ii EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The health of First Nations, Inuit and M tis 1 Courtesy Val d'Or Native Friendship Centre/Centre d'amiti autochtone de Val-d'Or/Paul Brindamour children in Canada Margo Greenwood and Jessica Place health DISPARITIES IN CANADA: A focus on First Nations children 10.
4 Rachel Eni ROSALIE'S STORY: Putting a face on Inuit maternal and child health 21. issues Selma Ford and Meghan McKenna IS CANADA FAILING M TIS children ? An examination of the challenges and barriers 30. to improved health Caroline L. Tait URBAN aboriginal children IN CANADA: Building a solid foundation for prosperity and change 37. Geraldine King JORDAN'S STORY: How one boy inspired a world of change Cindy Blackstock 46. ii FOREWORD. FOREWORD. Canada' comes from the Wendat (Huronian-Iroquoian) word Kanata, meaning village' or settlement'.1 But what is Canada? Who are we? Are we willing to accept that in Canada, some children are seven times more likely to die in infancy than others?
5 That some children are 50 times more likely to be hospitalized with preventable illnesses, such as chicken pox? The fact that these children are aboriginal and live in one of the most affluent nations in the world ignites anger in some of us, and concern among many. But anger and concern are not enough. We are truly on the cusp of a social renaissance in this country as aboriginal peoples gather renewed strength. The legacy of residential school policy, which severed the last few generations of families from their children and sowed the UNICEF Canada/2008/Sri Utami seeds of our current malaise, is starting to lift.
6 Parents who grew up without their own mothers and fathers are learning how to parent, and the children who survived and made it home from residential schools are reclaiming their heritage. states parties shall ensure Canada has officially apologized to aboriginal people, but do we truly honour the survivors? As a country, do we accept that only half of our aboriginal children will that all children enjoy the complete high school? That twice the number of Inuit and M tis children live in highest attainable standard poverty than do other Canadian children ?2 Is the Canada we want a country where of health and have access to we resist funding the 22 per cent3 gap in child welfare services between First health care service.
7 Nations and Canadian children on average, funding that could strengthen families instead of removing children from them? Do we want to live in a country where the Indigenous children result of that disparity is that more aboriginal children are in government care frequently suffer poorer today than during the peak years of the residential schooling era? health than non-indigenous Our country is being called to a greater consciousness. Even if there are more children due to, inter alia, questions than answers, it's time to ask them. What kind of Canada do you want? inferior or inaccessible In 2009, the world will commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the UN.
8 health services. The Convention on the Rights of the Child and take stock of how much progress has Committee notes with been made to provide for and protect children 's rights. UNICEF Canada marks the concern, on the basis of its anniversary with this Canadian Supplement to the annual UNICEF The STATE of the reviews of STATE parties' World's children report. reports, that this applies both Every year, The STATE of the World's children focuses on a key theme related to the to developing and developed rights and well-being of children , and monitors a broad range of child development indicators across countries.
9 By telling stories, documenting evidence and countries.. identifying successes, the report aims to advance discourse among those who seek Committee on the Rights of the to create a world more fit for children . Child: General Comment This year's The STATE of the World's children examines maternal and child health (2009): Indigenous children and their around the world, and in developing countries in particular. It notes that a child rights under the Convention. born in a developing country is almost 14 times more likely to die during the first month of life than a child born in an industrialized nation. But within countries, the health of marginalized children is shaped by circumstances that have little FOREWORD iii BY THE NUMBERS.
10 Resemblance to the story told by national averages. Across Canadian First Nations reserve communities, for example, infant mortality rates are three to seven times the national average. In fact, in almost all health status indicators (measures of 48. child health , such as diabetes and suicide rates) and in the determinants of health and well-being (influences such as poverty and access to clean water), aboriginal children fall well below the national averages for Canadian children . Twenty years after the Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted with the promise of providing the best we have to give as a nation for all our children , the health The percentage of children conditions of Canada's aboriginal children are not what we would expect in one of and youth in the aboriginal the most affluent countries in the world.