We acknowledge the sacred land on which we operate is on traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples and is now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.

We also acknowledge that the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto (CAST) operates on a territory that was the subject of the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, an agreement between the Iroquois Confederacy and the Ojibwe and allied nations to peaceably share and care for the resources around the Great Lakes.

At CAST, we are mindful of the need to reconcile our history and relations with Indigenous peoples. We are committed to honouring the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Call to Action that examined the long legacy and impact of the Residential School Systems on Indigenous, First Nations, Métis and Inuit children and youth, and their families and communities. The recommendations are especially relevant to our Agency and the child welfare system, including:

  • Commit to reducing the number of Indigenous children in care.
  • Prepare and publish annual reports on the number of Indigenous children who are in care, compared with non-Indigenous children, as well as the reasons for approval, the total spending on preventive and care services by child-welfare agencies, and the effectiveness of various interventions.
  • Fully implement Jordan’s Principle, which makes sure all First Nations children living in Canada can access the products, services and supports they need, when they need it.
  • Enact Indigenous child-welfare legislation that establishes national standards for Indigenous child apprehension and custody cases.
  • Develop culturally appropriate parenting programs for Indigenous families.

We are focused on improving our services for Indigenous families and strengthening our relationships with Indigenous service providers and child welfare agencies, including Native Child and Family Services of Toronto. Dedicated internal training, resources and learning opportunities are designed to build our staff’s capacity to support Indigenous families by better understanding Indigenous ways of being and how this can impact our approach and case decision making. In addition, through ongoing monitoring and analysis of our services, we have internal mechanisms in place that keep us accountable to our Truth and Reconciliation commitments and processes.