Implications for Recommendations

The overrepresentation of young Aboriginal people in residential care and limited access to appropriate services are pressing issues. While Aboriginal organizations, service providers and the Ministry are involved in a number of initiatives to address these issues, we were very concerned by the persistence of the issues that were raised about the experiences of young Aboriginal people placed far from home, community and culture.

The timeframe and composition of the Panel – as several of the organizations we met with pointed out the Panel did not include an Aboriginal member – did not allow for the extent of discourse and partnership required to appropriately address these questions. Building on the Ministry’s Aboriginal Children and Youth Strategy, a fuller discussion in the context of a partnership process specific to First Nations, Métis and Inuit youth placed in out-of-home care is recommended.

Tracking residential service trends specific to First Nations, Métis and Inuit children and youth must be a high priority. Aboriginal communities are entitled to know how well young Aboriginal people in out-of-home care are doing and the Ministry must have this information to monitor the effectiveness of initiatives designed to reduce overrepresentation and to keep young Aboriginal people closer to their communities. The disaggregated data available from youth justice facilities demonstrates that this is information that can be systematically collected.

A number of recommendations emerging from other chapters of our review have implications for Aboriginal youth and communities that may need additional consideration: