Cindy Blackstock

Activist Type
Children's Rights

Cindy Blackstock is a notable Canadian Gitxsan activist, social worker, and professor at McGill University's School of Social Work. With an impressive educational background, including degrees from UBC, McGill University, Loyola University Chicago, and the University of Toronto, Blackstock has emerged as a leading advocate for Indigenous rights, particularly in child welfare. Renowned as Canada's 'relentless moral voice' for First Nations equality, Blackstock has tirelessly highlighted systemic injustices in public services for Indigenous children, youth, and families. Her pivotal role in filing a human rights complaint against Canada in 2007, alleging discrimination in child welfare funding, led to a lengthy legal battle. Despite government resistance, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal eventually ruled in 2016 that the federal government's underfunding of child and family services on First Nations reserves constitutes discrimination. Blackstock's advocacy extends beyond legal battles; she initiated Have a Heart Day, an annual youth-led event advocating for Indigenous children's rights. Her remarkable contributions have been recognized with over 50 awards, including the National Aboriginal Achievement Awards and the Amnesty International Person of Conscience Award, solidifying her legacy as a tireless champion for Indigenous rights and children's welfare in Canada.

Artwork by
Julie Flett

Cindy brings spirit to her work advocating for the fair and just treatment of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis children. Cindy is surrounded by the elements of fire, water, air, and earth which surround, protect, nourish, and connect us. The Spirit Bear accompanies Cindy to every human rights tribunal she attends to put children to ease and is a symbol of change and reconciliation.


Canada Flag
July 1, 1867
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