KASHECHEWAN CHOOSE LIFE
Health, Recreation, and Social Support
Funding for this application is being sought from Indian and Northern Affairs Canada and/or Health Canada based on the availability of Jordan’s Principle Child-First Initiative funding.
As was outlined in The People’s Inquiry into our Suicide Pandemic (2016) since 2009, 600 children and youth from Mushkegowuk communities thought about or tried to take their own lives, more tragically some ended their lives. These and other communities experienced this pandemic, facing the loss of our family members and friends, and the ongoing fear of losing someone else we love. It is now the focus of the communities to develop our own solutions to address this pandemic and to protect our youth at risk of suicide. This application is made in support of our youth.
Main Task, Plan, and Outcomes
The overall objective of the programs and activities that Kashechewan Health Services would like to implement is to restore balance for children and youth in the community through holistic healing.
The key tasks will be the continuation of both suicide prevention and intervention-focused mental health services and supports in the community. The services and supports will promote mental, emotional and
behavioral well-being in the community and build capacity within existing services and supports as well as the community at large. They will focus on the prevention of underage drinking and drug use, decreasing addiction among adolescents and young adults, decreasing rates of depression and other mood-related disorders among adolescents and young adults, building self-esteem and self-love among children and youth in the community, decreasing vandalism including fire starting by young people and decreasing bullying incidents.
A First Child Initiative
A Legal Rule
In 2016, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) determined the Government of Canada's approach to services for First Nations children was discriminatory. One way we are addressing this is through a renewed approach to Jordan's Principle.
Since the ruling, the CHRT has issued a number of follow-up orders about Jordan's Principle. In May 2017, the CHRT ordered that the needs of each individual child must be considered, to ensure the following is taken into account under Jordan's Principle:
providing culturally appropriate services
This means giving extra help when it is needed so First Nations children have an equal chance to thrive.
Honoring Jordan River Anderson
Every child deserves access to services like health care and supports at school. However, First Nations children have not always had the same access to services as other Canadian children.
This is because different levels of government fund different services for First Nations children, especially those living on-reserve.
This has led to disputes between governments about who should pay for which services.
Jordan River Anderson from Norway House Cree Nation in Manitoba got caught in one of these payment disputes. As a result, he didn't get the recommended home-based care he needed.
Legacy of Jordan River Anderson
Jordan was born in 1999 with multiple disabilities and stayed in the hospital from birth.
When he was 2 years old, doctors said he could move to a special home for his medical needs. However, the federal and provincial governments could not agree on who should pay for his home-based care.
Jordan stayed in the hospital until he passed away at the age of 5.
In 2007, the House of Commons passed Jordan's Principle in memory of Jordan. It was a commitment that First Nations children would get the products, services and supports they need, when they need them. Payments would be worked out later.
Today, Jordan's Principle is a legal obligation, which means it has no end date. While programs and initiatives to support it may only exist for short periods of time, Jordan's Principle will always be there. Jordan's Principle will support First Nations children for generations to come.
This is the legacy of Jordan River Anderson.