September 5, 2017 - Open Letter to the Honourable Dr. Jane Philpott

The Honourable Dr. Jane Philpott
Minister of Indigenous Services
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A6

CC: The Honourable Dr. Carolyn Bennett
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

Dear Minister Philpott,    

On behalf of the Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW), I would like to extend sincere congratulations on your historic appointment as Minister of Indigenous Services.

The creation of this new portfolio is encouraging, signalling that your government intends to pursue reconciliation by devoting more attention and resources to Indigenous children, families, and communities.  CASW is encouraged that this significant role has been given to someone with your understanding of the impact of economic, health, and social inequities.

To this end, CASW was very encouraged by your government’s campaign promise to act upon all 94 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s recommendations, and bolstered by the early action taken in lifting the 2% cap on annual funding increases. However, further changes have stagnated, and as with previous governments, Canada continues to fail Indigenous children and their communities.

CASW unequivocally supports the position of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada’s (FNCFCSC) in asking for your immediate action, in collaboration with Minister Bennett, in costing out all areas of inequity – health, social, educational, economic – facing Indigenous children and their communities. This is the first step in producing a viable and comprehensive plan with targeted investments to eliminate discrimination.

In the same vein, CASW repeats our call for your government to fully comply with Canadian Human Rights Tribunal orders and properly implement Jordan’s Principle. It is imperative that this include not only healthcare, but that it apply to all public services available to Canadian children living off reserve.

Again, on behalf of the CASW federation, I extend our congratulations on your historic appointment. CASW looks forward to supporting your office in the swift resolution of discrimination of Indigenous children and communities.


Jan Christianson-Wood, MSW, RSW
CASW President