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It's time to balance the scales 

This week marks a year since the first presumptive case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Canada – and the urgency to support children and youth has never been greater. School closures have resulted in increased social isolation and poor mental health, learning loss, food insecurity and vulnerability to abuse.
 
Lockdown restrictions have placed a disproportionate burden on kids. As we work to contain the spread of COVID-19, we need to balance our efforts with supports to address the unprecedented challenges facing Canada’s youngest citizens.  

Developing child-centred policies  
Children First Canada (CFC) and Statistics Canada (StatsCan) have invited policy makers and industry leaders to participate in Lifting the Burden on Kids: Innovative policy solutions to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on children. The event, which will take place in February, will help equip them with effective tools to improve the education, health and well-being of kids in Canada.

Lifting the Burden on Kids follows a hackathon hosted by CFC and StatsCan in December to better understand the impacts of COVID-19 on children and families. Harnessing research and data, industry leaders and youth joined hands to develop child-centred policy solutions. The event in February will explore the findings and recommendations of last month's hackathon.

Follow us on social media for updates and information!

Bell Let's Talk Day is on January 28! Join Sara Austin, CFC's founder and CEO, at 11:30 a.m. ET for Let's Talk Hope Canada, a virtual event about the state of mental health in Canada. Speakers from various sectors – including business, non-profit, arts, education and media – will weigh in to this important conversation. Register now to add your voice! 
REGISTER FOR LET'S TALK HOPE
Calls for Ribbon Skirt Day

From the Cote First Nation in Saskatchewan, 10-year-old Isabella Kulak is not afraid to celebrate her culture. Last month, she courageously wore a traditional ribbon skirt to a formal event at her school. When a staff member criticized her outfit choice for not being formal enough, it sparked widespread support on social media and calls for a Ribbon Skirt Day. Designed with bands of ribbon, the handmade skirts are worn by Indigenous women during ceremonies and as an expression of cultural pride.
Photo: The Canadian Press/HO-Kulak Family

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Have a Heart Day

February 14 is Have a Heart Day! This child- and youth-led reconciliation event brings together caring Canadians to help ensure First Nations children have the opportunity to thrive. They deserve to grow up safely at home, get a good education, be healthy, and be proud of who they are. Looking for simple ways to participate with your family or school? Click the button below for great ideas – including a Valentine's Day card you can send to government leaders! 

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Don't miss these upcoming events!
The Assembly of First Nations is hosting a series of gatherings that focus on child and family well-being. The events will include discussions about the new Indigenous child and family services legislation, An Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families. 

 
REGISTER NOW
Be a child advocate! 

Want to speak up on the issues that matter most to kids? You don't have to work at a child advocacy organization or get a degree in social work to make a difference. Check out our latest blog to learn more about child advocacy and how you can get involved. 

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