Documentary features Cindy Blackstock’s fight for equality for Indigenous children

Filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin’s latest film tells the story of SSHRC alumna Cindy Blackstock and the nine-year battle she led to prove that the Canadian federal government discriminated against Indigenous children living on reserves. The National Film Board documentary, We Can't Make the Same Mistake Twice, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 13, 2016.

A member of the Gitxsan First Nation, Cindy Blackstock has 25 years of social work experience in child protection and Indigenous children’s rights. She is the executive director of the First Nations Child & Family Caring Society of Canada, director of equity and diversity for the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, and a professor at McGill University’s School of Social Work.

In 2007, Blackstock received a Canada Graduate Scholarship from SSHRC while completing her PhD in social work at the University of Toronto. She was most recently a co-applicant for two projects receiving 2015 Insight Grant awards: one looking at child welfare service delivery for Indigenous children, and the other a historical examination of child welfare policy shifts and their impacts on adopted Indigenous children.

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Blackstock presented a lecture on September 27, 2016, as part of the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences Big Thinking series.

Blackstock delivered a powerful keynote address at SSHRC’s 2014 Imagining Canada’s Future national forum.

Watch a video in which Blackstock responds to one of SSHRC’s six Imagining Canada’s Future questions: How are the experiences and aspirations of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada essential to building a successful shared future?