Indigenous Youth and the Child Welfare System

Saturday, November 17, 2018 | 1:45 PM
River Park Church Auditorium


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Canada’s colonial practice of forcibly removing Indigenous children from their families did not end with the closing of Indian residential schools. It continues today in the form of provincial and territorial child welfare systems, which remove Indigenous children and youth at alarmingly high rates.

This film features the voices of Indigenous youth as they reflect on their prior involvement with child welfare and share their multiple strategies of resistance to assimilation and state control. Adding to these insights, First Nations child advocate Cindy Blackstock traces the term ‘neglect’, the main rationale for child welfare removals, to its roots in the residential school system, and points to laws that codify structural discrimination as the leading cause of child welfare (dis)placements.

Film Information

Year: 2017
Length: 45

Cast & Credits

Director: Melisa Brittain


UN Goal


Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.



Join the post-show conversation with local and international artists and experts.


Tia Ledesma is a mother of 2 children from Siksika Nation, and resides in Calgary, AB. She is also of Cree and Mexican heritage. She is currently working for her nation with Children Services as Administration but one day hopes to continue her education in Youth Justice. Taking care of her own niece and nephew, as well as having grown up in foster care with her siblings, Tia hopes by telling her own story, youth will be encouraged to share their own stories as apart of healing and recognizing intergeneration trauma.