(Toronto – July 21, 2020) Grand Chief Joel Abram is supporting the Government of Ontario’s announcement to put an end to ‘birth alerts,’ a practice that can lead to child apprehensions soon after delivery and disproportionately impacts First Nations women and racialized families.

“On behalf of the Chiefs in Ontario, I applaud the work of the Ontario government in their commitment to put an end to these alerts that target racialized children and families, and to create a more culturally appropriate child welfare system,” said Grand Chief Joel Abram. “As per the announcement, beginning on October 15, these alerts, which never were required under provincial law, will be over, and families can finally begin to heal from the cycle of intergenerational trauma through early child apprehensions.”

By putting an end to this practice, Ontario is making meaningful progress in delivering on both the Truth and Reconciliation (TRC) Calls to Action in reducing the number of children in care, as well as the Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG), specifically to eliminate the discriminatory practice of ‘birth alerts,’ to ensure Indigenous women and their children are no longer separated.

“As Social Services portfolio holder at the Chiefs of Ontario, I look forward to continuing this conversation on building a child welfare system that is better coordinated to find solutions instead of more problems for First Nations in Ontario. Ontario’s decision marks an important step in building a system that focuses on keeping families together and implementing community-based prevention services that are high quality and are truly responsive to the needs of First Nations children and families.”

Grand Chief Joel Abram


The Chiefs of Ontario is a political forum and a secretariat for collective decision making, action, and advocacy for the 133 First Nation communities located within the boundaries of the province of Ontario, Canada. Follow Chiefs of Ontario on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter @ChiefsOfOntario.

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