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  Winter 2012

Welcome to the Many Hands, One Dream e-newsletter!



Have a Heart for First Nations Children and Families


This February 14 – Valentine’s Day – celebrate Have a Heart Day by participating in an activity that shows your compassion for First Nations children and youth. In Ottawa, you’re invited to attend the appeal to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal hearing on First Nations child welfare, happening from February 13 to 15. This historic event is open to all members of the public. Across the country, you can also celebrate by spreading awareness through your contacts or social networks, sending your Member of Parliament an e-card or purchasing Valentines from the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society. Have a Heart supports the I Am a Witness campaign for culturally-based services and funding for child welfare services for First Nations communities. Visit the Caring Society’s website for more information on the tribunal or for ideas on what you can do to celebrate Have a Heart and help support a brighter future for First Nations children and youth. 


Are we doing enoughfor Canadian kids?


In its recently released status report, Are We Doing Enough?, the Canadian Paediatric Society rates Canada’s governments on how well they protect and promote the health of Canadian children and youth. When it comes to Jordan’s Principle, intended to resolve jurisdictional disputes involving health care for First Nations children, eight provinces and territories are rated as “poor.” This rating showing little to no progress since the report was last published two years ago. The CPS urges provincial and territorial governments to implement Jordan’s Principle without delay while working with First Nations communities, and to provide First Nations children and youth with the care they are entitled to. Visit the CPS website to see how your government is rated when it comes to child health.


Shannen Koostachin named most influential teenage girl in history


CBC television personality George Strombolopolous recently compiled a list of the five most influential teenage girls in history, naming Shannen Koostachin as number one. At 13 years old, Shannen challenged Indian Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl when he cancelled a grade school project in her community of Attawapiskat. At 14, her work to end under-funding of First Nations schoolchildren earned her a nomination for the International Children's Peace Prize. Although she died the following year, her activism became the inspiration for Shannen's Dream – a national campaign to promote education rights for Aboriginal students.


Public health conference names Aboriginal health a priority


The National Collaborating Centres for Public Health will hold its 7th annual Summer Institute from May 15-16 in Kelowna, B.C. The theme is Advancing Health Equity, Building on Experience. The conference will focus on six priority areas, including Aboriginal health and will attract a diverse audience of public health practitioners, decision-makers, researchers and students. Visit or contact for more information.


New reports focus on sleep practices and breastfeeding benefits for Inuit babies


The University of Victoria, in partnership with Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK), has developed two reports using data from the 2006 Aboriginal Children’s Survey. One report focuses on sleep practices amount Inuit infants and ways to help prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. The other focuses on the benefits of breastfeeding. Visit the ITK website for more information or to download the reports. 

  New First Nations and Inuit seasonal flu materials

Health Canada recently released seasonal flu awareness materials tailored for First Nations and Inuit communities, focusing on flu prevention messages. The pamphlet, poster, radio and print public service announcements are available online and in communities. Learn more at


Assembly of First Nations to hold National Water Conference


The Assembly of First Nations will host a National Water Conference this spring to call attention to the challenges First Nations communities face in accessing safe, clean drinking water. The conference will take place in Edmonton from March 5-7, 2012 and will focus on First Nation water rights and how to deliver safe drinking water to the communities. Visit AFN’s website for more details.

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