five14 Talks: Kenn Richard – A Song for the Native Child

by ahnationtalk on August 26, 2015716 Views

Credits: Children’s Aid Foundation

Published on Jun 16, 2015

Both sides of Kenn Richard’s family come from the original Métis and Francophone settlements along the Red and the Assiniboine River in Manitoba. He is the first of his family to graduate university and has practiced social work within Aboriginal child welfare, since the mid-seventies. Kenn challenges audiences to reflect on issues impacting Native children and to make a real contribution to their resolution. His five14 talk is titled, A Song for the Native Child.

About five14 Talks
In response to requests from young people in care to have a greater voice in shaping public perceptions, the Children’s Aid Foundation created five14 Talks to celebrate Children and Youth in Care Day (May 14, 2015) to give young people in child welfare a voice and and inspire change.

five14 Talks is a forum much like TED Talks, where Canada and the world’s leading thinkers in Child Welfare are invited to give a talk in 14 minutes (or less individually). Look for the individual talks on this channel as well as the 2015 event highlights.

Kids in need of protection shouldn’t be defined by disadvantage, and they certainly don’t deserve to be constrained by it. The Children’s Aid Foundation exists to help vulnerable kids live up to their potential. They depend on us. We depend on you. Your donation makes all the difference.


Follow cafdn news on Twitter:
Like cafdn on Facebook:


Kenn Richard: A Song for the Native Child

“While Aboriginal child welfare is still in the early stages of development, many believe that Aboriginal children are now better off in the newer developing Aboriginal controlled systems than in the mainstream context.”

Kenn Richard’s family comes from one of Manitoba’s oldest Metis settlements, St Francis Xavier situated approximately 15 miles west of Winnipeg on the banks of the Assiniboine River. Moving to Toronto in 1978, he became one of the original founders of Native Child and Family Services of Toronto. In 1988 he became the agency’s first Executive Director and remains in that position today.
Mr. Richard is also a sessional lecturer at the Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto, teaching Intercultural practices to MSW and doctoral candidates. He received both a BSW and a MSW from the University of Manitoba with a specialty in community development. He has held a number of positions in his professional life in such areas as child protection, residential treatment, community development and labor relations as well as contributes to many regional and national initiatives on Native and Children’s issues.

Kenn has been the recipient of multiple awards including the Toronto Civic Award of Merit, The Aboriginal Affaires Award, The Chief of Police Community Award, and the Salute to the City Award for outstanding civic contribution. Most recently he has been honored with the Diamond Jubilee medal in recognition of HRH Elizabeth 60 years on the throne.

Kenn is a strong children’s advocate at both the national and the local level and is often called to lend advice to government in the field of Native Child Welfare and its related issues. He has appeared as expert witness to the courts and Parliamentary/Legislative committees on matters associated with Native children. He has also been active in the both the print and the visual media on issues associated with the welfare of Native children.

On a provincial level Kenn is a founding member of the Association of Native Child and Family Services of Ontario. He sits a numerous advisory committees such as the Advisory Committee to the Child Welfare Secretariat, Ministry of Children and Youth, and has been called upon for advice by the highest levels of government.

On a national level Kenn is active with both the First Nations Child Caring Society (Vice President) and with the Child Welfare League of Canada (Director and Chair of Aboriginal Task Force). He is an active resource to the Public Health Agency of Canada and sits as an advisory capacity on a national study on child health. Most recently Kenn has been given advice to Auditor General of Canada in a review of the Child Welfare systems in the Yukon, Nunavut, and the NWT.

Have a video, podcast or story you would like featured here contact us with full information.

Send To Friend Email Print Story

Comments are closed.

NationTalk Partners & Sponsors Learn More