This program focused on two key topics: the social and historical context of the Canadian child welfare system, with a particular focus on how this system has affected First Nation communities; and the law and social context of sexual assault trials.
The objectives of this seminar were to better develop the participants’ understanding of the history and social context of the Canadian child welfare system, to learn from other jurisdictions in Canada, and to discuss innovations already in place in Saskatchewan. The sexual assault law sessions were designed to teach the social context of sexual assault and to review the jurisprudential evolution of sexual assault laws in Canada, including an examination of the key myths and stereotypes recognized by appellate courts and Parliament.
This program was led by experienced senior judges, academics, and a front-line worker in child protection, using interactive sessions for case studies and scenarios. The participants explored the historical context of the Canadian child welfare system. These sessions included: how this system has affected First Nation communities; local practices and procedural dynamics encountered by First Nations Agencies; and innovations in place to respond to the concerns expressed by Indigenous communities in the area of child protection. The sessions on sexual assault trials examined how judges take social context into account; myths and stereotypes in sexual assault cases, and substantive issues.