Shameful Practice Brought to Light by

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Shameful Practice Brought to Light by Truth and Reconciliation Commission Says Evans
Lela Evans commented on today’s announcement that the shameful practice of “birth alerts” will finally stop in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Monday, June 28, 2021

(June 28, 2021) – Lela Evans, PC Opposition Shadow Minister for Indigenous Affairs and Reconciliation and Labrador Affairs, today commented on today’s announcement that the shameful practice of “birth alerts” will finally stop in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Evans says, “It is only in the light of truth and reconciliation that the Department of Children, Seniors and Social Development is now being shamed into stopping the practice of sending birth alerts to hospitals. I believe this change comes generations too late for many indigenous families.”

A “birth alert” is a practice that can result in a newborn child being removed from the mother without her consent or consultation. Indigenous women are disproportionately affected, and Newfoundland and Labrador is one of the last provinces to have had this practice in place.

“For years this practice aided in the removal of newborn indigenous babies from their families. Innu and Inuit needed help to heal from residential schools, forced relocation, and other egregious colonial policies. Instead of helping, this practice forced new cycles of intergeneration trauma onto our children and families,” says Evans.

Evans continued, “We need to acknowledge that systemic racism embedded in CSSD and other government agencies has contributed to the failure to help and protect Indigenous families. Real harm has been done and this policy is just one of many tied to the cultural genocide of the Innu and Inuit. I applaud Innu Nation and Nunatsiavut government in their steps toward taking control of their child welfare services.”
 

Contacts:

Bradley Russell

Director of Communications and Digital Strategy

(p) 709.729.3668

BradleyRussell@gov.nl.ca

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