5 February 2018

In January 2016, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal found that the federal government discriminated against Indigenous children by underfunding child welfare services. On 1 February 2018, Ottawa committed to covering the costs of Indigenous child welfare agencies from the ruling onwards. Bernard Richard and Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond were cited in an article published by The Globe and Mail the same day. “What it means, is resources for family support, family preservation, prevention – the types of things that [agencies] have been crying out for," commented Richard. More than that, the government’s commitment will allow agencies to keep families together where there used to be an “incentive for taking children into care,” he concluded. This said, Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond added a word of caution: "Without a clear framework, with outcomes and co-ordinated efforts to plan, monitor and deliver excellent services, the area of Indigenous child and family services will have deep vulnerabilities.”

Bernard Richard is a 2012 Trudeau mentor and BC's representative for children and youth. Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond is a 2011 Trudeau mentor, the former BC representative for children and youth, and a lawyer and children’s rights advocate. Read the article here.

Bernard Richard

An Acadian lawyer and a former social worker and former MLA, Bernard Richer has been appointed ombudsman and first child and youth advocate of New Brunswick. He is Administrator of the Alumni Society of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation.

2012 Mentors

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond

A lawyer and children’s rights advocate, she was the first Aboriginal woman appointed to the judicial bench in Saskatchewan. Currently she is the BC Representative for Children and Youth.

2011 Mentors