The Martin Family Initiative
Indigenous families and their communities are the best place
to support the healthy development of their children and
to encourage overall well-being and cultural identity.
Canada has a long history of policies and legislation that have deeply impacted the health and happiness of Indigenous children, families and communities. As a result of the legacy of colonization and the historic underfunding of essential services, Indigenous communities continue to grapple with a number of social inequities. Despite the efforts made by Indigenous communities to soar above the consequences of these systemic hurdles, too many still persist.
They have led to substantially poorer health and educational outcomes, substandard housing, high unemployment and large numbers of Indigenous children in child welfare care. In fact, there are more Indigenous children in foster care today than in the residential school system at the height of its operation.
To break this pattern, Indigenous communities and families must have direct control over their own services.
The Martin Family Initiative (MFI) supports the development of programs that keep children healthy and connected to their families, their culture, and community.
MFI believes that resilience begins with the relationship between a mother and her baby which supports learning through the critical first years of a child’s life and continues into the school-age years. It is then carried into the next generation.
We recognize the necessity of working in relationship with communities, leadership, and governments to ensure every Indigenous child in Canada grows up knowing who they are and confident in their own abilities.