CLIENT: Huu-ay-aht First Nations Social Services Independent Panel
PROJECT: Report + Film of the Social Services Panel
In Canada, it is estimated there are approximately 40,000 Indigenous children living in foster care. This is nearly half the amount of total children in care across Canada and much higher than the total number of Indigenous children who attended residential schools. Years of multi-generational impacts from colonization, residential schools and the Sixties Scoop, have left families broken and lacking the resources to adequately care, heal and provide support for future generations.
Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott believes the number of First Nations children in care may in fact be much higher and has called for social and governmental change to address this significant issue. Huu-ay-aht First Nations (HFN) implemented a Social Services Independent Panel to look into the causes of Huu-ay-aht children in care.
In May of 2017 the Panel delivered a report detailing 30 recommendations on what can be done to prevent Huu-ay-aht children from entering care, and how to facilitate returning those who have been in care back home to their families, culture and traditions. These recommendations included ‘circles of protection’ in order to support families to better make decisions for their children and futures. This means stronger assistance for families, especially during transitional times such as entering or leaving care, or parent addiction treatments.
We were engaged by the Huu-ay-aht First Nations Social Services Independent Panel to raise the profile of the report and make the findings more accessible to a wider audience.
Once the report was completed, we drafted the news release announcing the report’s release and managed its dissemination.
We also developed the creative treatment and accompanying graphics to produce the final report into a book format that could be easily shared among the community and stakeholders in order to advance the recommendations brought forward by the Panel.
The final piece of the project was to create a 25-minute documentary film to support the sharing of the Panel’s recommendations. The film highlighted the issues in social services processes as it relates to First Nations children and focused on the recommendations by the Panel to address healing in every level of the community.
The book and film were shared by Huu-ay-aht First Nations’ Executive Council with provincial and federal decision makers, as well as the Huu-ay-aht citizens during community engagement sessions. Both the book and film have been used to secure additional commitments from citizens and government to help heal and reunite families.
Huu-ay-aht First Nations is actively implementing the Panel’s recommendations to ensure a future of security and safety for this generation and the ones to come.