Children’s Rights

January 21, 2016 at 7:00 PM

The Human Rights of Aboriginal Children

WATCH VIDEO: The Human Rights of Aboriginal Children

Dr. Jo-Ann Archibald, Associate Dean for Indigenous Education, NITEP Director and Professor in Educational Studies:

  • Acknowledgement of Traditional and Unceded Musqueam Territory
  • An Overview Indigenous Education Research at the Faculty of Education, UBC

Dr. Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, British Columbia
Representative for Children and Youth

Dr. Mike DeGagné, President and Vice-Chancellor of Nipissing University

Dr. Grant Charles, Associate Professor at the School of Social Work at the University of British Columbia

Children are among the most vulnerable of Canada’s citizens. Despite protection under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child many young people remain marginalized in our society. Aboriginal children are amongst those who are the most at risk. They are more likely to live in poverty, have poorer health status and are disproportionately represented in the youth justice and child welfare systems.They have higher suicide rates, lower high school graduation rates and are more likely than their non-Aboriginal peers to become homeless. Aboriginal girls and young women are at particular risk of becoming victims of violence and sexual exploitation. This joint lecture will focus on the significant challenges Aboriginal children face in exercising their human rights.

Dr. Jo-ann Archibald, Q’um Q’um Xiiem, from the Sto:lo and Xaxli’p First Nations, is Associate Dean for Indigenous Education, the Director for NITEP, the Indigenous Teacher Education Program, and professor in the Educational Studies Department in the  Faculty of Education, University of British Columbia.
Jo-ann received a Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) degree from the University of British Columbia, a Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree from Simon Fraser University.
At UBC, Jo-ann has also held the positions of Director of the First Nations House of Learning for eight years and Director of NITEP for 15 years.  She received a National Aboriginal Achievement/Indspire Award in 2000, an honorary Doctor of Letters from Capilano University and the Simon Fraser University Outstanding Alumni Award for Academic Achievement in 2012. In 2013, she received a distinguished career achievement award from the American Education Research Association, Scholars of Colour.  At the Faculty of Education graduation ceremony on May 21st she was presented with 2015 UBC Killam Award for Excellence in Mentoring.
Jo-ann is the author of the book, Indigenous Storywork: Educating the Heart, Mind, Body, and Spirit published in 2008 by UBC Press.  She has been the annual theme editor of the Canadian Journal of Native Education since.

Dr. Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond is British Columbia’s first Representative for Children and Youth, an independent office of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia. Her office has a mandate to advocate for children and youth
in British Columbia and protect their rights. She has worked as a criminal law judge in youth and adult courts, with an emphasis on developing partnerships to better serve the needs of young people in the justice system, particularly sexually exploited children and youth and those with disabilities. A graduate of Carleton University, York University
and Cambridge University, she also holds a doctorate from Harvard Law. Dr. Turpel-Lafond has received numerous honours throughout her career and is widely acknowledged as an expert on the rights of children.

Dr. Mike DeGagné is President and Vice-Chancellor of Nipissing University. Mike served as the Executive Director of the Aboriginal Healing Foundation throughout its duration. He previously held senior positions with Indian and Northern Affairs Canada and Health Canada. Dr. DeGagné is a member of the Board of Directors for the Mental Health Commission of Canada and has served as Chairman of the Child Welfare League of Canada. He is a graduate from the University of Toronto, Central Michigan University and Osgoode Hall and holds a doctorate from Michigan State University. The recipient of various honours he was recently appointed a member of the Order of Canada. He is internationally recognized as an expert on the impact of residential schools on Aboriginal peoples.

Grant Charles is Associate Professor in the School of Social Work at UBC and Affiliated Associate Professor in the Division of Adolescent Health and Medicine at BC Children’s Hospital. He is Adjunct Professor in the Department
of Community Health Sciences in the College of Medicine in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba and an Associate Adjunct Professor in the School of Child and Youth Care at the University of Victoria. He is also a member of the Prato International Research Collaborative on Children of Parents with Mental Illness. His
current research focus is on young carers, the ethics of international service learning and the development of practice and legislative response regarding child sexual abuse images on-line.

This session has been co-ordinated by Dr. Grant Charles, School of Social Work at the University of British Columbia.