» home » media releases

Media releaseDowload Release in PDF Format

Date: August 30, 2004

International Gathering Tackles Preventing Violence Against Indigenous Children

In the accumulating evidence that children all over the world are victimized by violence in their homes, schools, institutions and communities is the inescapable fact that indigenous children are particularly at risk for many forms of violence. An upcoming international gathering on Quadra Island, B.C., hosted by UVic’s International Institute for Child Rights and Development (IICRD) and Aboriginal Liaison Office, will examine how to intervene and prevent violence against indigenous children.

Experts and leaders among indigenous peoples, child and youth leaders, United Nations and government representatives and experts on family and child development and children’s rights will meet at the Tsa-Kwa-Luten Lodge on Quadra Island, B.C. Aug. 31 to Sept. 4. Among them will be Montoeli Mota, Prince of South Africa’s indigenous Batlokwa people. He will be presented with a special protective gift at the gathering’s opening ceremony hosted by Kwakwaka’wakw (Kwagiulth) hereditary chief Adam Dick (Kwaksistala). This gift is consistent with traditional indigenous protocol. (7:30 p.m. Aug. 31)

Panel discussions will examine indigenous traditional values, beliefs and practices that protect children from violence, issues of violence against indigenous children, and interventions to prevent violence against indigenous children. Dr. Stuart Hart of the IICRD will present an overview of a UN study on violence against children and Jaap Doek, chair of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, will discuss the role of outside agencies in supporting Indigenous children.

The gathering is using the approach that many children’s problems, including violence and abuse, have common circumstances and that the best way to address them is to draw on existing strengths and enhance protective factors instead of developing ‘problem fixing strategies.’ Participants will consider the context of the children’s social environment, families and cultural values in addressing issues of violence.

Media contacts:

MEDIA ADVISORY: Members of the media are welcome to attend the gathering but, given the sensitive nature of the experiences participants will share in the sessions, are asked to identify themselves to organizers in advance of videotaping or recording.

Suzanne Williams (IICRD) at cell: (604) 833-0196 or swiicrd@uvic.ca
Patty Pitts (UVic Communications) at (250) 721-7656 or ppitts@uvic.ca

UVic media releases and other resources for journalists are available on the World Wide Web at http://communications.uvic.ca/media

(image: fern)