First Nations children's advocate: Access to services still a challenge for Indigenous kids

A First Nations children's advocate says Indigenous kids are still not being treated equally because governments are not living up to their responsibilities.

Cindy Blackstock is executive director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society.

She told the inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women in Winnipeg that Indigenous children are still not getting access to services that are available to non-Indigenous kids.

Blackstock says this is despite a Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruling that says Indigenous children should get access to services without delays caused by jurisdictional issues.

She says the federal government has acted on the ruling over the last year but there is still a lot more to be done.

Blackstock says no province or territory has fully adopted the principle.

Indigenous children account for about seven per cent of all kids in Canada, but make up more than half the number in care.

A Manitoba government spokesperson says further consultation with First Nations and the federal government is needed to eliminate service gaps for children.