Description: January’s SPARK: Conversations monthly podcast is on Indigenous child health with our podcast host, Dr. Katharine Smart in conversation with special guest, Dr. Cindy Blackstock. As an internationally recognized First Nations scholar and child welfare expert, Cindy has been the driving force behind promoting reconciliation to ensure culturally based equity for First Nations children and families. Cindy is the Executive Director and co-founder of the First Nations Child & Family Caring Society of Canada, Associate Professor & Director of First Nations Children’s Action Research and Education Service at University of Alberta and Professor in McGill’s School of Social Work. In this podcast, Cindy will be exploring the utilization of Jordan’s principle and the Spirt Bear Plan to achieve culturally based equity for First Nations Children. She will be providing guidance to non-Indigenous system leaders and health care professionals working in pediatrics to support them in promoting reconciliation within their practice to better serve Indigenous children, youth, and their families.
Speaker Name/Bio: Cindy is the Executive Director and co-founder of the First Nations Child & Family Caring Society of Canada, Associate Professor & Director of First Nations Children’s Action Research and Education Service at University of Alberta and Professor in McGill’s School of Social Work. As a nationally and internationally respected advocate for the rights of Indigenous children and a member of the Gitksan First Nation, Cindy has 25 years of social work experience in child protection and Indigenous children’s rights. Further, her research spans the identification & remediation of structural inequalities affecting First Nations children, youth & families. An author of over 50 publications & a widely sought after public speaker, Cindy has collaborated with other Indigenous leaders to assist the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child in the development and adoption of a General Comment on the Rights of Indigenous children. Recently, she also worked with Indigenous young people, UNICEF & the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous issues to produce a youth friendly version of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of the Child. Her promotion of culturally based and evidence informed solutions has been recognized by the Nobel Women’s Initiative, the Aboriginal Achievement Foundation. Frontline Defenders and many others.