Alberta judge calls for investigation into funding for aboriginal youth in care

An Alberta judge says there should be an investigation into whether funding for aboriginal youth in the child welfare system is less than funding for non-native youth.

EDMONTON — An Alberta judge says there should be an investigation into whether funding for aboriginal youth in the child welfare system is less than funding for non-native youth.

The judge heard evidence at a fatality inquiry that federal money for an agency charged with the care of an aboriginal teen in an Edmonton group home is 22 per cent less than funding for those who look after non-aboriginal youth.

“I recommend that the Government of Alberta investigate whether or not such a funding disparity exists and, if so, to enter into discussions with the Government of Canada to eliminate such a disparity,” provincial court Judge Kirk MacDonald wrote in his report released Friday.

The inquiry examined the 2009 stabbing death of a 17-year-old boy in Edmonton.

The teen, referred to in the report only as M, constantly ran away from his group home and was staying with an aunt the night he got into in a fight with several other teens — some armed with swords, knives and bats.

The judge says group home staff followed their rules and nothing could have been done to prevent the boy’s tragic and violent death.

His recommendation for an investigation into funding mirrors one made by a judge last year in a fatality inquiry that delved into the case of an aboriginal baby who died of pneumonia while in the care of the Kasohkowew Child Wellness Society. The same society had supervision of M while he was in a group home run by Spirit of Our Youth.

In 2013, Judge Bart Rosborough noted similar evidence by the Kasohkowew Child Wellness Society about unequal funding.

He wrote “there must be no disparity of funding in the funding of aboriginal children versus non-aboriginal children” and that the reasons for eliminating such a disparity are obvious.

MacDonald said, in the case of M, the reasons are particularly obvious.

“The care of a youth like M would be a challenge for any organization, let alone one that is inadequately funded,” the judge wrote.

Just Posted

WATCH: Rappelling down Red Deer’s Stantec Building a thrilling, scary experience

Advocate reporter chronicles his trip down the 13-storey buildling

Red Deer raises $60,000 for Make-A-Wish Foundation

27 brave residents rappell down Stantec Building

People hurt in rollover near Red Deer

Occupants of a vehicle that rolled south of Hwy 11A were airlifted… Continue reading

Eager-beaver cannabis entrepreneurs already waiting outside Red Deer City Hall

Appications will be accepted on a first-come basis starting on Tuesday

Like father like son: Red Deer area Dreeshen family dedicates life to public service

There are three jobs that could be considered the Dreeshen family business:… Continue reading

WATCH: Gazebo groundbreaking in Waskasoo

Fifty per cent of the $100,000 project is funded by a provincial government grant

Woman killed in collision near Olds

A woman is dead after a collision west of Olds Saturday afternoon.… Continue reading

Evacuation numbers remain at nearly 1,000 as B.C. wildfires rage on

SUMMERLAND, B.C. — Officials in British Columbia’s Okanagan region hope that fire… Continue reading

Survivors recount deadly Missouri duck boat sinking

BRANSON, Mo. — “Grab the baby!” Those were the last words Tia… Continue reading

HMCS St. John’s to return to Halifax after six-month deployment overseas

HALIFAX — The countdown is on for the homecoming of a Halifax-class… Continue reading

Trump says lawyer taping him may be ‘illegal’

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — The Latest on President Donald Trump and his onetime… Continue reading

Spieth part of 3-way tie for British lead as Woods lurks

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland — Jordan Spieth has a share of the lead in… Continue reading

WWII hero’s lost Purple Heart returned to his family

NEW YORK — A lost Purple Heart medal has been returned to… Continue reading

California girl, 2, accidentally shot and killed by boy, 4

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — Authorities say a 4-year-old boy accidentally shot and… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month