On June 11, the First Nation Child and Family Caring Society of Canada (FNCFCS) and the Indigenous Bar Association (IBA) organized the “Our Dreams Matter Too” national walk and letter-writing campaign in order to get the federal government to respect the future of Aboriginal youth.

The event was necessary because of the attempts by the Harper government to stall progress in the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal to hear the injustices committed towards Indigenous youth.

The complaint was filed in 2007 by the FNCFCS and the Assembly of First Nations because of the discriminatory funding practices currently in place at the Department of Indian Affairs. At present, child welfare services on reserves are receiving 22% less funding than their off-reserve counterparts. Due to the underfunding of preventive services, this leads to more broken homes on reserve.

IBA President Koren Lightning-Earle said, “The statistics about Aboriginal children in Canada are dire. When it comes to Aboriginal children, Canada’s words and its actions don’t match up.” Currently the complaint is being hampered by an appeal by the federal government to have it curtailed.

“Our Dreams Matter Too” sent a strong message to Ottawa that the dreams of Aboriginal children should be given an equal chance to take part in Canada’s future.