Keeping the Promise

Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Lived Experiences of First Nations Children and Youth

In recognition of the last year of the International Decade of Indigenous Peoples and consistent with the Convention on the Rights of the Child, this paper describes the lived experience of First Nations children across the following dimensions: poverty, urbanization, substance misuse, education, youth suicide, accidental injury, child welfare, sexual exploitation, and youth justice. Findings indicate that First Nations children continue to experience unacceptable disproportionate levels of risk across all identified dimensions, and that policies developed to redress these risks remain largely unimplemented. The need for disaggregated data that reflects the cultural diversity of Aboriginal peoples in Canada and an independent monitoring system to oversee the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and domestic legal protections for children which is designed and implemented by Aboriginal peoples are discussed.