We are pleased to announce this year’s roster of Spark! speakers at Cannexus18! Speakers: Dr…
Dr. Cindy Blackstock
Dr. Cindy Blackstock, Executive Director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada, and Associate Professor at the University of Alberta, has worked in the field of child and family services for over 25 years. An author of over 50 publications, her key interests include exploring and addressing the causes of disadvantage for Aboriginal children and families by promoting equitable and culturally-based interventions. Current professional interests include holding fellowships with the Ashoka Foundation and The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation.Cindy grew up in rural and remote communities in Northern British Columbia. She became a social worker in a bureaucracy where she learned how little the system was addressing the real problems of child welfare and poverty. In 1999, she became the Executive Director of the Caring for First Nations Children Society in BC where she established a successful professional development and policy institute for First Nations child welfare in British Columbia. In 2003, she then assumed the role of Executive Director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada (www.fncaringsociety.com) to lead a social movement where First Nations and non-Aboriginal peoples stand together to address long-standing inequities experienced by First Nations children.
She has a Master in Management from McGill and a PhD in social work from the University of Toronto. Her blend of community development experience, policy development and intellectual rigour have propelled her into a leadership role within the reconciliation movement – an effort to build upon the strengths of First Nations and non-Aboriginal children to reform First Nations children’s services.
Reconciliation in Action between First Nations and Non-Aboriginal Children
For decades, First Nations children and families have received less benefit from education, child welfare and health services than all other Canadians. First Nations and non-Aboriginal children are taking action creating the largest child-led reconciliation movement in Canada that puts culturally-based equity at the centre. Children know love and fairness in ways that many adults need to remember and they are standing together to ensure that all First Nations children can grow up safely in their families, be healthy, go to good schools – prepare for meaningful work – and be proud of who they are. Understanding the barriers faced by First Nations youth, the fastest growing segment of the Canadian population, is necessary for counsellors to provide the most appropriate guidance in career exploration and employment.
This presentation showcases how thousands of children all over Canada are making a difference. Their actions uplift First Nations and non-Aboriginal children alike and show adults that change can really happen if you care enough and work hard enough. Be inspired and then take action yourself.