O’Soup: Indigenous Children and Youth Advocate should work for FSIN

Saskatchewan’s Advocate for Children and Youth is clarifying that he supports an Indigenous Children and Youth Advocate working for the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) and not a provincially-funded Indigenous youth advocate.

Corey O’Soup had previously spoken in favour of having an Indigenous Children and Youth Advocate. Shortly after being appointed advocate, O’Soup’s office took a new strategic direction to be part of solutions for quality of life issues for First Nations and Métis children and youth.

A focus on positive relationships with First Nations and Métis partners was part of that strategic direction, and his thoughts have been shared with FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron, who publicly supports the Advocate’s Office.

“Since the onset of my tenure, my office has worked very hard to build positive relationships and partnerships with our First nations government, communities and agencies,” O’Soup said.

“Working with the FSIN, agencies and band officials, we are able to carry our mandate, which in fact does give us jurisdiction with respect to child welfare on reserve. We see the overrepresentation of young Indigenous people in the care of government services, whether that be the 70.2 per cent in out of home care, the over 90 per cent admitted into our correctional facilities or the 56.8 per cent who do not graduate from our education system. I support any … resources that help our Indigenous young people succeed”