Overrepresentation in Context

Before colonization, Aboriginal communities cared for their children in accordance with their diverse cultural practices and traditions. With the arrival of non-Aboriginal settlers came a series of colonial policies and practices that disrupted traditional systems of care and resulted in systematic racism, exclusion, and marginalization for Aboriginal communities in Canada. Since colonization, Canadian and provincial/territorial policies and practices have directly mandated the removal of hundreds of thousands of original children from their families and communities by the residential school and child welfare systems. They have also contributed to the development of structural conditions which perpetuate the overrepresentation of Aboriginal children in the child welfare system and in out-of-home care.

The following Information Sheets provide important information in understanding the overrepresentation of Aboriginal children in the child welfare system.