Report of the Southern Alberta Geographical Rep to the Prairie Region Council submitted for the January 2017 meeting. This report covers the period from the last PRC meeting.
Southern AB Rep
Prairie Region Council January 2017
ON November 22 and 25, 2016 I attended the CAC CLiFF festival. The 2016 short films were very good, and those who attended the 2015 CLiFF agreed this year’s films were better. Attendance doubled from last year.
ON November 27, 2016 I attended (Dis)Placed: Indigenous Youth and The Child Welfare System at the Glenbow Museum. The film launch included a panel discussion featuring the film maker Melissa Britain, Dr. Cindy Blackstock (Executive Director of the First Nationals Child and Family Caring Socity of Canada and a leading advocate for First Nations children), Tia Ledesma from the film and some Indigenous community leaders. The film discusses the practice of forcibly removing Indigenous children from their families even after the closure of Indian residential schools. It notes Provincial and Territorial welfare systems remove children at alarmingly high rates. Indigenous youth are featured, reflecting on their involvement with child welfare, sharing stories and strategies for resistance to assimilation and control by the state. First Nations child advocate Cindy Blackstock traces the term “neglect” (the main rational for child welfare removals), to its roots in the residential school system. She points out laws that codify structural discrimination as the leading cause of child welfare (dis)placements.
ON December 22, 2016 a regional campaign advocating for a National Childcare Program called “No More Fairy Tales” was launched.
The Lethbridge and Calgary RWC’s began working on the project In June, at the Prairie Regional Women’s Conference. It consists of four different monthly online postcards tied to the campaign’s page, which outlines the purpose of the campaign and allows members of PSAC (and the public as well) to send a letter to their provincial and federal representatives asking them to move forward with implementing a national childcare program.
Southern Alberta Geographic Representative, PRC, PSAC