Equitable Funding for First Nations Child Welfare Services and the Implications of Jordan’s Principle

First Nations Child Welfare Case – Equitably Funding First Nations Child Welfare Services

A landmark court decision has made it clear that Canada must equitably fund First Nations child welfare services. This includes the costs of prevention, intake and assessment as well as legal fees.

Children should be involved in all decisions that impact them. Adults have an obligation to facilitate exciting and meaningful ways for children to participate.

What is Jordan’s Principle?

Named after Jordan River Anderson, a First Nations child from Norway House Cree Nation in Manitoba, the principle requires governments to help children first and figure out payment disputes later. This principle was set out in a landmark decision by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal in January 2016.

Government officials must assess each request on its own merits and provide services according to what is best for the child. The principles applies to all levels of governments across Canada.

In response to the decision, the federal government established Jordan’s Principle focal points in each region of Canada to manage requests. People can contact their regional focal point for more information on how to access products, services and supports for their children. The 24/7 Jordan’s Principle toll-free line and regional contacts can also be used to report a jurisdictional dispute. It should be noted, however, that these contact points cannot assist with requests related to a CHRT order of compensation for individuals.

What is the Caring Society’s complaint?

The Caring Society’s complaint was based on Section 5 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination in respect of services customarily available to the general public. It argued that the federal government’s funding formula for child welfare services on reserve is discriminatory because it provides less funding than provincial funding despite the fact that First Nations children are subject to the same provincial laws.

The Tribunal found that the Caring Society’s allegations were substantiated and ordered the federal government to take measures to comply with Jordan’s Principle. It also ordered the government to stop discriminatory practices in its funding for child welfare services on reserve.

The decision means that Canada must stop the discriminatory policies it has had in place for decades, which have led to a massive overrepresentation of First Nations children in the child welfare system and unnecessary removals from families. These are devastating consequences for children and their families. This is an important and historic ruling.

What is the government’s response?

The government has argued that the court should not be allowed to find discrimination. They argue that the tribunal’s decision is contrary to international law and flies in the face of Canada’s obligations to protect children.

The tribunal disagreed and ruled that the Department of Indigenous and Northern Affairs’ (INAC) design and funding of child welfare services on reserve, as well as its discriminatory allocation formulas, cause a number of harms to First Nations children and their families. The tribunal also ruled that these harms are contrary to the requirements of the Canadian Human Rights Act.

The ruling has major implications for the future of child welfare in this country. It creates a path for Indigenous communities to use Jordan’s Principle to claim jurisdiction over their own child welfare laws, and even to negotiate co-ordination agreements with provincial governments. Indigenous groups are already recognizing the importance of this watershed decision. Those who supported the Idle No More movement are especially enthusiastic about it.

What is the court’s decision?

The court ruled that the federal government has the power to make laws that go to the heart of Indigenous peoples’ lives, including child welfare. It also confirmed that Canada can incorporate into its law the laws of Indigenous nations, communities or peoples by reference. The court ruled that this means the provisions of any law written by the federal government that conflict with a law written by an Indigenous nation, community or people will always prevail.

The tribunal found that the federal government’s design, management and funding of child welfare services on reserves – as well as the way it prioritizes those services over others — cause a number of harms to First Nations children that amount to discrimination. It ordered the federal government to compensate those affected.

Cindy Blackstock says the ruling is a huge victory for Indigenous children and their families. But she warns that it is not a “decisive victory” as the court didn’t confirm a right to self-government protected by Section 35 of the Constitution.

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In the midst of a rapidly shifting digital landscape, where the boundaries between the virtual and the physical blur, there lies a fervent enthusiasm for the world of sports. In particular, the NBA, with its thrilling dunks and heart-stopping buzzer-beaters, continues to capture the imagination of fans across the globe. However, not everyone can catch the live action courtside, which is why the concept of NBA broadcasting, or nba중계, has become a vital link between the game and its ardent followers.

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Preserving Native American Heritage and Family Unity through the Indian Child Welfare Program

Oklahoma Indian Child Welfare Program

The Supreme Court upheld key provisions of a federal law that protects Native American children from involuntary removal from family homes and placed into foster care or adoptive homes outside the tribe. The law, known as ICWA, requires that states recognize and give preference to a child’s connection to his or her tribal heritage.


The Indian Child Welfare program was designed to help families who have children removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect. The goal is to reunify the family, but there are times when reunification cannot occur. When this happens, the Indian Child Welfare program seeks relatives who can care for the children. These relatives must be able to provide services that will ensure that the children have a permanent home. Pawnee court appointed special advocates are individuals who are trained to monitor children in Indian child welfare cases. They work with KTO ICW caseworkers to help families through behaviorally based service treatment plans. They also work with the courts to provide reports that are submitted to the courts.

ICWA requires that state child welfare systems make active efforts to maintain and reunify AI/AN children with their parents or Indian custodians. These efforts must be more intense than the legal standard of reasonable efforts. It is also important for the court to find that these efforts are being made.

Tribal Courts

Tribal courts have jurisdiction over Indians and, where recognized by Congressional legislation such as the Violence Against Women Act, non-Indians residing on or conducting business in tribal country. Tribal courts try criminal cases, civil matters and juvenile matters.

ABA resolutions

OILS deals with five general areas of Indian law: Indian Child Welfare (ICWA) matters, adoptions and guardianships, Indian housing (MHO eviction issues), Natural Resources (trust or restricted land problems, mineral interests, probates, wills and determination of heirships) and Justice for Children (JFC). The Justice for Children program addresses the need to enhance and improve the effectiveness of tribal courts in ensuring that children’s safety, permanence, and well-being needs are met in child welfare proceedings. This requires a strong partnership between tribal and state agencies, attorneys and judges. This partnership includes training and technical assistance. The JFC program aims to increase coordination of efforts at both the state and tribal level and improve the use of data in child welfare cases.

State Courts

KTO ICW provides guidance, advice and representation for tribal members involved in State or Federal child custody proceedings. Our primary goal is to keep the children within their extended family but, if that cannot be done, to find permanent families for them.

Our staff consists of the Director, CPS/Prevention Worker and Foster Care Worker. They all work as a team with the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Program, which provides support for children through their foster or adoptive parents.

The State of Oklahoma Supreme Court shares jurisdiction over Indian child welfare cases with tribal courts. The Supreme Court acts in an appellate capacity, hearing seven classes of appeals from circuit and family courts.

The state of Oklahoma is divided into nine judicial administrative districts and each district has a judge who is responsible for their region. Each judge is answerable to the Supreme Court. A majority of the nine justices must affirm, modify or overturn a ruling by any lower court.


The Pawnee Indian Child Welfare Program provides child protection, family reunification and adoption services for families that are enrolled members of the tribe. The ICW also monitors cases in state court systems to ensure that the Indian Child Welfare Act is observed in these cases. The ICW also recruits and certifies Indian homes to serve as foster care placement for children who have been removed from their parents’ homes due to abuse or neglect.

This program is designed to prevent the involuntary removal of Indian children from their families and tribes. It also establishes minimum Federal standards to assure that those children who are removed will be placed in foster or adoptive homes that reflect their culture.

Adoptive parents in Oklahoma are eligible for a basic monthly maintenance payment and specialized rates based on the needs of the child. These rates include respite vouchers and access to comprehensive home-based services. In addition, Oklahoma adoptive families can also receive counseling and support groups.

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Protecting Indigenous Children: The Fight for the Indian Child Welfare Act

The Indian Child Welfare Act is in Danger

Few pieces of legislation are as vital to the health of Indigenous children and their families as the Indian Child Welfare Act. However, this important piece of legislation is currently in danger.

In 1978, Congress passed the ICWA to address widespread state child welfare practices of removing Native American children from their homes and placing them in non-Native families.

What is the ICWA?

In 1978, the ICWA was passed in response to the alarming number of Indian children being removed from homes and placed for adoption, often into non-Indian families. It sets federal requirements for state foster care, guardianship, termination of parental rights and adoption proceedings involving a child who is a member or eligible to become a member of a federally recognized tribe.

The law ensures Tribes are involved in all child welfare decisions, sets placement preferences, and establishes funding for tribal child welfare services. It has been repeatedly challenged and undermined by anti-tribal interests, who have no interest in the best interests of Native children.

The Goldwater Institute’s ICWA work includes supporting the implementation of the ICWA in partnership with tribal and state child welfare systems. We have partnered with more than 50 tribal nations, 59 Native organizations and 31 child welfare orgs, as well as 26 states and DC. We are working to help them strengthen their systems and build better partnerships.

ICWA Preferences

One of the most controversial aspects of ICWA is its placement preferences. These preferences are intended to keep Indian children close to their family, tribe, and culture. This is considered best practice by child welfare experts, and research shows that kids who stay connected to their tribe and culture have better outcomes in life.

To meet these goals, the ICWA requires states to recruit Native American foster and adoptive families, as well as prioritize placements with them. This recruitment is especially important since Native families are far more likely to lose custody of their children than other families.

ICWA also requires states to notify nations, pueblos, and tribes about cases in which their members are involved. This notification is meant to ensure that tribal leaders can play a role in the case and protect their kids. They can be involved in the case by providing expert witnesses and addressing any concerns that may arise. The law also allows them to be a voice in the courtroom and make decisions about the children’s futures.

ICWA Requirements

Before ICWA, Indigenous children were removed from their homes and placed in non-Native foster care. This often resulted in the loss of cultural identity and connection to community. ICWA was passed to prevent this and ensure that Native children stay with their families, tribes and communities.

ICWA requires state child welfare agencies to notify the child’s tribal council when a case is opened and to involve them in the proceedings. It also provides preferences for placement with family members and tribally approved foster homes, and requires that States and Federal courts give full faith and credit to Tribal court decrees.

Despite the need for these provisions, it is not always easy to achieve ICWA compliance and the benefits that are associated with its implementation. Counties are encouraged to use the ICWA toolkit, which is designed to streamline and simplify the achievement of ICWA requirements, improve outcomes for children and families and enhance collaboration with tribes.

ICWA Enforcement

Many state and tribal child welfare systems continue to fail in their responsibilities to comply with the letter and spirit of ICWA. This non-compliance contributes to the high numbers of American Indian children entering foster care.

Several federal cases have challenged the constitutionality of ICWA, including the well-known case, Adoptive Couple v Baby Girl. This case and others have fueled a firestorm of criticism in the media, which often frames ICWA as race-based and draconian.

To overcome these challenges, juvenile and family courts should focus on developing respectful relationships with tribes and engaging in meaningful, ongoing collaboration to examine practice, build understanding through training, and implement change. This toolkit offers juvenile and family court judges a variety of resources for doing just that. This includes a video, benchcard checklists, and training recommendations. These tools are aimed at helping judges and child welfare workers implement the ICWA’s requirements to best serve Native children and families. The full toolkit is available for download below.

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1. Choosing Indigenous Identity 2. Cultivating Important Crops 3. Pioneers of Tool Usage 4. Indigenous Writing and Advocacy 5. Building Ancient Cities 6. Living in Towns and Villages 7. Harnessing Indigenous Technology 8. Mastering Weapons in Battle 9. Shaping the Environment with Fire 10. Preserving Native Languages

1 Indigenous American

Before European settlers came to the Americas, Native Americans lived all over the continent. They passed down stories about how the world was made.

Indigenous people should be able to choose how they identify themselves. They may prefer not to use a term that lumps hundreds of tribes together, which doesn’t honor their unique and complex identities.

1. They were the first humans to live in the Americas

Known as indigenous americans, indigenous peoples, Amerindians, or American Indians, they lived throughout the Western Hemisphere. Their populations declined after the arrival of Europeans due to epidemic disease, military conquest, and enslavement.

What are the best terms to use when discussing these cultures? And how do you avoid offending anyone? Read on to find out. Start your free trial now. Your support ensures a bright future for independent journalism.

2. They cultivated many of the world’s most important crops

Some Southwestern tribes grew corn, beans and squash in intercropping complexes known as the Three Sisters. These crops provided mutual support and enhanced nutrition.

Hamalainen shows how these and other tribal nations ebbed and flowed not in isolation but in constant tension. Even today, a lack of wealth keeps Native Americans from attaining prosperity at the same rate as other groups.

3. They were the first to use tools

A variety of techniques can transform a stone with sharp edges into a tool: knives, scrapers, axes, clubs, spear points, drills, and so on. These tools were used for hunting and gathering.

When possible, use a specific tribe name rather than the broad umbrella term “Native American.” This avoids lumping together hundreds of distinct and culturally diverse tribes into one mass group.

4. They were the first to write

Before colonization, Indigenous people orally transmitted literature. A Cherokee leader named Sequoyah spent 12 years developing a writing system for his tribe.

His 86-character syllabary made it easy for the Cherokee to learn to read and write. In the nineteenth century, Native American authors published many autobiographies that protested non-Indians’ mistreatment of Indians. These writers were conscious of speaking not just for themselves, but also for their communities and races.

5. They were the first to build cities

The term Native American is used for people who identify as Indigenous, but many prefer to be identified by their clan or tribe. It’s important to ask people how they’d like to be referred to, so as not to offend them.

Some Indigenous people developed complex, agriculturally-based societies and lived in permanent villages called pueblos. Others were more nomadic and survived by hunting and gathering.

6. They were the first to live in towns

In the Southwestern culture area, sedentary farmers grew corn, beans and squash, and lived in multistory homes called pueblos. Others were hunter-gatherers like the Navajo, whose lifestyle revolved around following animal herds.

November is National Native American Heritage Month, a time to celebrate their history and traditions. Whether they live on reservations or in the city, indigenous people have much to teach us about living well.

7. They were the first to use technology

While terms such as “Native American” do acknowledge that tribes occupied the land before anyone else, they lump hundreds of unique and diverse tribes into one mass group. Using specific tribal names honors their cultures and identities.

Some tribal practices are too sacred to share online at risk of cultural appropriation. But others, such as telemedicine, offer the potential to bring services directly to remote reservations.

8. They were the first to make weapons

Indigenous people used spears, bows and arrows, atlatls, clubs, and shields in battle. They also threw bolas, which were weights on the end of strings connected to each other, to capture animals by entangling them.

It is important to understand that tribes are sovereign entities with the right to self-determination on their land. They deserve respect for their binding agreements with the United States government.

9. They were the first to use fire

The authors of this book describe how Indians used fire to shape their environment. They also explain how TEK about prescribed burning can help us achieve balance and land management goals.

For example, a basket frame made from hazel requires fire to grow straight stems that can be used for the frame. Fortunately, Indigenous tribes are rekindling traditional practices. They use fire to create open prairies and meadows that are great grazing and hunting areas.

10. They were the first to use language

Although Native American languages are diverse, many are in danger of extinction. Language preservation programs aim to keep them alive.

It is important to avoid offending Indigenous people by using respectful terms. Try to find out which term they prefer.

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Challenging Canada’s Role in the Sixties Scoop: Seeking Compensation for Indigenous Children

Class Action Lawsuit Challenges Canada’s Role in the Sixties Scoop

The class action lawsuit challenges Canada’s role in the Sixties Scoop, when Indigenous children were removed from their families and placed into non-Indigenous homes. It seeks compensation for every child who was taken and for parents and grandparents, as well as estates of harmed individuals.

It’s a bold and important lawsuit, but it has its limitations.

The Lawsuit

The lawsuit seeks compensation for Indigenous children and their families who were apprehended by child welfare agencies while living off-reserve between January 1, 1992 and December 31, 2019, and placed in the care of individuals who were not members of their family, community or group. It also seeks compensation for parents and grandparents of those apprehended, as well as the estates of those who died while in care.

This class action alleges that Canada, by its acts, policies and omissions, caused this discrimination by failing to provide adequate funding for child welfare services in First Nations communities. This, it argues, incentivized the removal of children from their families.

Cochrane Sask LLP is working with other law firms to bring this class action to justice. If successful, it will result in compensation for off-reserve off-reserve children who were overrepresented in the child welfare system and are now eligible under Jordan’s Principle. It will also include compensation for parents and grandparents who lost the ability to pass on their traditional languages, culture and spirituality to their children as a result of this alleged discrimination.

Class Actions

The class action lawsuit seeks various damages, reparations and costs on behalf of families in Canada’s First Nations – including both those who identify as “status” Indian (registered with a federally recognized tribe) and those who don’t (because they don’t meet the eligibility requirements). Last year, the government reached an agreement in principle to pay $40 billion to reform and compensate on-reserve children, youth and families hit by discriminatory practices in child welfare funding.

The suit alleges that the Canadian government failed to uphold its duty to protect Indigenous children in state care from harm and displayed systemic negligence, claims that haven’t been proven in court. It also alleges that Ontario owed Crown Wards who experienced abuse a duty to advise them of their rights and available remedies.

The federal government has been opposing more than $80 million in legal fees requested by the lawyers working on the class action, CBC News has learned. It argues the fee requests are too high and would mean some of the lawyers would be paid $4,500 per hour or more.


Hundreds of thousands of Indigenous children were taken from their families and placed in foster homes or residential schools between the late 19th century and the 1990s. Many died from malnutrition, disease or neglect in what a truth and reconciliation committee called cultural genocide.

Canada has apologized for residential schools, but the country has fought in court over orders to pay compensation and fund reforms. The agreement reached on Tuesday will provide $23 billion in compensation to children and families, with an additional $20 billion to reform the child welfare system.

The settlement also aims to resolve ongoing barriers to services, such as legal fees, caseworker salaries and costs for building repairs, purchases of child service equipment or the actual costs of band representatives in some provinces. It will also require Ottawa to respect Jordan’s Principle, a legal rule that says federal government departments must pay for and deliver health and social services to First Nations youth on reserves on a level substantively equal to non-First Nations youth.


The class action covers status and non-status Indian children, Inuit and Metis who were apprehended from their families while living off reserve and placed in non-Indigenous care. It seeks damages and restitution on their behalf.

Blackstock says she expects the federal government to apologize for the harm done by its child welfare system, but that is not enough. She wants to see change in how the government treats Indigenous children going forward.

Kugler Kandestin lawyers say a C$40 billion agreement reached in two separate agreements will provide compensation for potentially hundreds of thousands of First Nations children who were removed from their homes and into care or experienced delays in receiving services. It also includes a fund to reform the child welfare system.

The federal government challenged the tribunal’s ruling, arguing it took a “one-size-fits-all approach” that excluded many of those who suffered because of the underfunding of child and family services on reserves. The court disagreed and ordered the settlement to proceed.

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Addressing Aboriginal Child Protection Issues: A Call for Collaboration and Self-Determination.

Aboriginal Child Protection Issues

Child protection systems are government agencies which investigate allegations of abuse or neglect. Aboriginal children are over-represented in these systems and are frequently removed from their families.

The Aboriginal Placement Principle says that, where possible, a child must be placed with their traditional family, extended family or community. This should be explored before any other option is considered.

Family and community connections

Many Aboriginal Australian children have experienced trauma and stressors that can lead to them entering, or being involved with, child protection systems. In response, all states and territories have adopted the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Placement Principle which recognises that the family, community, culture and Country of a child are critical to their identity and wellbeing.

However, this principle has been difficult to implement in practice due to lack of support for kinship carers and limited funding for Indigenous families. Moreover, the culturally sensitive approach required to respect these principles is at odds with post-colonial child protection laws which often focus on physical needs and disregard spiritual and cultural concerns.

This gap between understandings has also facilitated a failure to recognise the strength of Indigenous families’ structures and approaches to child raising. This has led to over-representation of Aboriginal children in child protection services. It has also prevented an effective response to problems within communities and led to the perpetuation of a cycle of neglect, abuse and separation.


Many Indigenous communities are distrustful of child protection authorities and have a deep belief that they should not be involved with them unless absolutely necessary. This is a major contributing factor to the over-representation of children from these communities in child protection systems across the country.

In Aboriginal communities responsibility for children lies mainly with extended family kin and the community as a whole. This type of arrangement reflects an holistic worldview, which places more emphasis on spiritual and cultural needs than Western concepts of child welfare. However, welfare agencies have historically misunderstood these structures and ways of raising children, often seeing them as dysfunctional. This has led to their failure to intervene until problems reach crisis proportions and to separation of children from their families and communities. The Fourth Action Plan calls for collaboration, co-operation and consultation between the child welfare system and Aboriginal communities, including community controlled organisations and Aboriginal managed services. It also stresses the importance of incorporating knowledge of and respect for Aboriginal culture into child protection work.


The systemic failures of child protection systems in Australia are causing profound harm and trauma to Aboriginal children, families and communities. Major reform to notifications, service and support systems is urgently needed.

The underlying issues are multiple and complex, including the intergenerational impacts of past policies of removal and separation from family, community, land and culture. They are also compounded by the ongoing stressors of poverty and inequality.

Aboriginal organisations have a critical role to play in enabling Indigenous Australians to exercise self-determination over their well being and the safety of their children. This involves supporting and strengthening the capacity of Aboriginal people to reassert systems of kinship and community care, in partnership with health services, that foster the safety and wellbeing of their children. This is best achieved through community controlled organisations such as Lakidjeka – an Aboriginal child specialist advice and support service (ACSASS). These are governed by all-Indigenous management boards and provide a culturally safe, respectful and holistic approach to statutory child protection interventions.

Access to services

Many submissions to the Inquiry pointed out that reversing the disproportionate over-representation of Aboriginal children with child protection systems requires more resources and funding for services in local communities. This would enable Indigenous agencies to develop their own culturally appropriate services rather than merely advising on Aboriginal matters within the existing bureaucratic framework.

In the Aboriginal community responsibility for children largely resides with the extended family and kinship network rather than with parents alone. This is reflected in the practice of growing up children, whereby young people are given a certain amount of autonomy by their extended family members and take responsibility for their own lives from an early age (Daylight and Johnstone 1986 page 27).

In Western post-colonial societies, this Aboriginal worldview may be viewed as dangerous, especially when departmental policies and laws reflect it, and so seek to impose a legal’ definition of responsibilities. Regardless of how they are framed, however, the principles underpinning Aboriginal child protection differ substantially from those found in Western post-colonial societies, and reflect a more holistic worldview that places greater emphasis on spiritual, relationship, and cultural needs.

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Preserving Cultural Connection for Indigenous Children

The Holistic Development of an Indigenous Child

Indigenous children need to retain a strong connection with their families, culture and language. They are a precious resource to our world.

In the era known as the Sixties Scoop, Native children were removed from their communities and placed into foster homes without consent. This trauma has lasting ramifications for indigenous children.


Socialization is a critical factor for indigenous children, especially as they develop a sense of identity and belonging. This includes a connection to the land and a spiritual understanding of their people. It also includes a knowledge of cultural traditions and ways of living.

A key aspect of socialization is the transmission of values, beliefs and attitudes by family members. These values include teaching a child to respect other cultures and embracing tribal culture as a way of life.

Social workers should consider the impact of a child’s cultural context when making decisions about their care and placement. This is particularly important if a child has been removed from their home due to poverty. This is why policies should prioritize placement with extended family and community.


Many Indigenous languages are in danger of extinction. Several reasons for this include forced familial separation through the residential school system and laws like the Indian Act that banned expression of culture. Other reasons include the spread of diseases that wiped out entire tribes, and contact with European settlers who introduced new words into the Indigenous language through creoles and dialects.

Early learning and child care practitioners can help preserve Indigenous languages by providing a language-rich environment. This includes encouraging children to use Indigenous names for their toys and daily objects. It also means communicating with parents in their preferred language.

Promoting equity in speech and language services for Indigenous children requires SLPs to reflect on their cultural competency, which leads to being open to shifting their perspective or framework. The abundance model is one framework that can help SLPs do this.


During the 19th and 20th centuries, Canadian authorities separated many Indigenous children from their families and sent them to residential schools. These institutions were designed to educate children and assimilate them into Euro-Canadian culture, but in reality they often resulted in emotional, physical and sexual abuse. Children were also forbidden to practice their traditional customs or speak their native languages and were punished for doing so.

As a result, for several generations many Aboriginal children have been removed from their communities and lost connection with family, language and culture. This is known as the Sixties Scoop, and has left many children with a sense of loss of identity. This loss is difficult to recover from and can impact the health of a child for many years to come.


Having a strong culture is very important for indigenous children. The reason is because it allows them to connect with their heritage and find meaning in life. When a child has a strong sense of cultural identity, they are less likely to experience trauma and depression.

This is according to a recent study conducted by the Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre. The study analyzed data from the Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children and found that children who were taught about their traditional culture experienced better wellbeing and socio-emotional adjustment.

The study shows that federal policies should recognise that Indigenous culture is an asset for Indigenous children and families and provides a preventive buffer against colonization and historical trauma. In turn, this will improve their health and welfare outcomes.


Education is a critical element to the holistic development of indigenous children. They must have access to quality education that will help them become productive citizens in their communities and nations. It will also ensure that they have the tools to sustain their traditions and culture.

Indigenous peoples need to be educated in their own languages and cultures, so that they can retain their unique identity. Without this, they will be lost in the mainstream and may not be able to fully participate in their community.

Teachers who understand the bigger picture of relationality, embodied learning and cultural teaching-learning-assessment traditions are positioned to make their assessment more reflective of Indigenous learners’ holistic development. This complements the holistic aspect of student achievement described in Measuring What Matters.

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