The number and range of nominations in 2010 reflect the goal of the award program: to recognize good practices in children’s rights throughout Canadian society. Below are brief descriptions of the 2010 award recipients.
Shannen Koostachin was 13 years old when she led a group of students from the isolated Attawapiskat reserve to Ottawa to ask for a school, and then she invited thousands of children, aboriginal and non-aboriginal, to join in advocating for the right of all children to have an education in Canada. Unfortunately, Shannen was killed in a car accident at age 15, before the school was built on her reserve. By speaking up and reaching out to other children, Shannen inspired many young people to actively participate in community life. By honouring Shannen’s memory, the CCRC recognizes the importance of the right to be heard and the right to education for all children in Canada. For more information on Shannen’s story and Shannen’s Dream, the continuing campaign for equitable education for aboriginal children, see www.shannensdream.ca.
Kathy and Jocelyn involved young people in creating the Rights 2 Success program, which spreads knowledge about children’s rights in British Colombia. Using train-the-trainer and other approaches, many children are involved in a variety of contexts. Kathy Berggren-Clive, Director of Advocacy for the B.C. Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD), and Jocelyn Helland, Executive Director of the Federation of BC Youth in Care Networks (FBCYICN) show a strong commitment to children’s rights in their careers and continuing work for children in British Columbia.
Committee members raise awareness and promote the rights of children in Ontario public library systems. Two statements, “Children’s Rights in the Public Library” and “Teen Rights in the Public Library” were developed to apply the Convention on the Rights of the Child to the world of libraries. These statements were adopted by the Ontario Public Library Association in February 2010. The focus now is implementation. In honouring this work, the CCRC also reinforces the application of the Convention in particular fields of work.
The Voyager Project engages crown wards in the Toronto area and supports them to pursue their education by linking them with resources and helping them address a wide variety of challenges. Dr. Kim Snow uses a strength-based model, adding research, advocacy, support, and engagement to enable young people to pursue their own goals. Project results also contribute to research on transition strategies for youth in care.