Cindy Blackstock to Receive 2017 E.H. Johnson Award


Child welfare advocate Cindy Blackstock has been chosen to receive the 2017 E.H. Johnson Award in recognition of her work on behalf of First Nations children and families, and her ongoing advocacy on behalf of First Nations peoples.

Blackstock is executive director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada and a professor of social work at McGill University, Montreal. A member of the Gitksan First Nation, Blackstock has 25 years of social work experience in child protection and Indigenous children’s rights.

In January of this year, she and the Assembly of First Nations won a landmark victory when the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruled that successive federal governments have discriminated against First Nations children by providing less funding for child welfare services on reserves than was provided for other children living in Canada.

The E.H. Johnson Award, named in honour of the former secretary for World Mission in the Presbyterian Church in Canada, is presented annually to an individual or organization in recognition of work on “the cutting edge of mission.”

In offering this award to Blackstock, the Dr. E.H. Johnson Memorial Fund Committee is mindful of the church’s complicity in the history of Indigenous peoples in Canada, and particularly in the legacy of residential schools. The award affirms the church’s desire to honour its commitments to healing and reconciliation expressed in its 1994 Confession to God and Indigenous peoples.

The award will be presented on June 5, 2017 at the church’s next General Assembly in Kingston, Ont.


About The Dr. E.H. Johnson Memorial Fund Committee