During the course of my nearly 10 years as Representative for Children and Youth in British Columbia and, in fact, throughout my career, I have had the privilege of getting to know hundreds of youth in care. These young people are diverse and talented individuals of all ages, backgrounds and cultures and, time and again, I’ve been inspired by their strength, adaptability and creativity under less than ideal conditions.
Each and every child has a unique story to tell, and a right to be heard. And we need to hear those stories. It is equally important this year to recognize that the majority of youth in care are Indigenous. They have come from families who have experienced enormous upheaval and trauma through many generations. We need to listen to these young people to understand how their family histories have impacted their lives. And we need to be sure we do not stop supporting them and learning from them as they reach the age of 19.