As the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) and the First Nations Children & Family Caring Society duke it out in the courts and before the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, the children who are the subject of the debate articulate their wish to be treated equally. First Nations children who live on-reserve are covered by the feds, and they get 22 percent less per capita in benefits than their off-reserve counterparts, whose welfare services are covered by the provincial and territorial governments. Canada has spent about $3 million to try and avoid going before the tribunal, saying that it doesn't make sense to compare provincial and federal funding in that way. But prominent aboriginal children's advocate Cindy Blackstock, head of the Caring Society, begs to differ, alleging in her case that such practices are tantamount to discrimination. Meanwhile there are more children in foster care than there were in residential schools during the height of the boarding-school era, some claim.
In this video, the children speak.