Tens of thousands of Indigenous children are in government care across Canada today, taken from their parents.

We don’t know the exact number, because each province and territory collects their own data and there is no national database.

But based on available data, Indigenous children are anywhere from five to 12 times more likely to end up in care than non-Indigenous children.

Why? Mainly because their families are living in poverty.

Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott calls the overrepresentation of Indigenous children and youth in government care a “humanitarian crisis.”

National data on kids in care is hard to come by as child welfare is a provincial and territorial responsibility. However, the most recent census found 52 per cent of kids under 15 in foster homes are Indigenous.

Yet Indigenous children are just under eight per cent of the under-15 population in Canada today.

More than 90 per cent of Manitoba’s 11,000 kids in care are Indigenous. In B.C. 64 per cent of our 6,804 kids in care identify as Indigenous, even though they make up just under 10 per cent of the population under 19.

New Zealand’s government has vowed to get the country’s entire homeless population off the streets before winter hits the country next month.

“We’re pulling out all the stops to make sure that no one needs to be without shelter or living in a car this winter,” New Zealand Housing Minister Phil Twyford told As It Happens host Carol Off.

“The country’s been shocked, I think, by the scale of homelessness, particularly over the last couple winters.”

Housing and poverty are the two most pressing concerns for New Zealanders, a recent Ipsos poll found, reports the New Zealand Herald.

With so much wealth in the world, why is there so much poverty? Poverty slows the development of all societies, and it’s obvious that we should try to eradicate it, but it still seems intractable. How can we put poverty behind us? And what does our attitude towards poverty and social mobility tell us about who we are? A discussion from the Stratford Festival.

Social justice lawyer Fay Faraday talks about some of the factors around the problem of poverty.

While all provinces have a large percentage of food insecure households, the issue of food insecurity takes a particular toll on Indigenous people in northern Canada. Around 15 per cent of the populations of each of the Maritime provinces struggle with food insecurity, while around 11 per cent of households in each of the “have” provinces (B.C., Alta., Sask., Man., Ont., and Que.) go without adequate access to food.

By contrast, 44.2 per cent of Inuit households in Nunatsiavut, 46 per cent in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region, and 70.2 per cent in Nunavut experience food insecurity.

For two decades, Dr. Miguel Sanchez has been writing about child poverty and each year he’s profoundly disturbed by what he finds.

“Year after year we have been reporting the very same number of children living below the poverty line,” says Sanchez. “It is unacceptable that in a society that claims to cherish children, we have close to 25 per cent of this province’s children living in abject poverty.”

Sanchez, Associate Dean in the Faculty of Social Work, has co-authored a report on child and family poverty in Saskatchewan, with Dr. Garson Hunter, Associate Professor in the Social Work Faculty.

The report using the latest numbers from Statistics Canada (Annual Income Estimates for Census Families and Individuals Final Estimates 2015), states that 24.1 per cent of children in Saskatchewan live below the poverty line, compared to the national average of 17.1 per cent

One in five B.C. youth under the age of 18 were living below the poverty line in 2015, according to the latest child poverty report from First Call BC.

In Williams Lake, the percentage of children living in poverty was 21.1 per cent or 810 out of 3,840 children, while in the entire Cariboo-Chilcotin region, the percentage was 23.2 per cent, the report noted.

Tsilhqot’in National Government Chair Chief Joe Alphonse said the “high” percentage is concerning because where there is poverty a host of other issues will arise.