A member of the Gitksan First Nation with 25 years of social work experience in child protection and indigenous children’s rights. Dr. Blackstock’s research interests are indigenous theory and the identification & remediation of structural inequalities affecting First Nations children, youth & families.
An author of over 50 publications & a widely sought after public speaker, Dr. Blackstock has collaborated with other Indigenous leaders to assist the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child in the development and adoption of a General Comment on the Rights of Indigenous children. Recently, she also worked with Indigenous young people, UNICEF & the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues to produce a youth friendly version of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of the Child. Her promotion of culturally based & evidence informed solutions has been recognized by the Nobel Women’s Initiative, the Aboriginal Achievement Foundation, Frontline Defenders and many others.
PhD (Social Work) - University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario (2009)
Doctor of Letters (Honorary) -Thompson Rivers University, Kamloops, BC (2015)
Doctor of Laws (Honorary) - University of Northern British Columbia, Prince George, BC (2012)
Doctor of Iyiniw Kiskeyihtamowinq Asonamakew (Passing Knowledge on) - Blue Quills First Nations University (2016)
Doctor of Laws (Honorary) - University of Saskatchewan (2016)
Doctor of Laws (Honorary) - Western University (2016)
Doctor of Laws (Honorary) - Waterloo University (2016)
Doctor of Letters (Honorary) - Mount Saint Vincent University (2016)
Doctor of Laws (Honorary) - University of Winnipeg (2017)
Doctor of Laws (Honorary) - Ryerson University (2017)
Doctor of Laws (Honorary) - Osgoode Law School (2017)
Master Degree (Management) - McGill University, Montreal, Quebec (2003)
Master of Jurisprudence - Loyola University, Chicago, Illinois (2016)
Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) - University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia (1987)
2014 - OISE, University of Toronto, External Scholar, Faculty of Graduate Studies
2013 - Dalhousie University, External Scholar, Faculty of Graduate Studies
2011 - University of Ottawa, Faculty of Women’s Studies and Graduate Studies
2005 - University of Toronto, Senior Instructor
2005 - University of Victoria, Adjunct Professor
2000 - University of Manitoba, Professional Affiliate
2016- Present, Professor, McGill University, School of Social Work
2003 – Present, Executive Director First Nations Child and Family Caring Society - Website
1999- 2003, Executive Director Caring for First Nations Children Society - Website
1995-1999, Assistant to the Social Development Director, The Squamish First Nation, Senior Social Worker, Province of British Columbia
Awards and Honors
2017 - Amnesty International, Ambassador of Conscience Award
2017 - Canadian Labour Congress, Award for Outstanding Service to Humanity
2017 - Janusz Korczak Medal for Children’s Rights Advocacy
2017 - Jack Layton Award, Broadbent Institute
2017 - Law Society of Upper Canada, Human Rights Award
2016- Royal Society of Canada, Honorary Fellow
2016 - Ontario Association of Social Workers: Human Rights and Social Change Award
2016 - Canadian Institute for Child Health Award
2016 - Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs Honoring
2016 - Neil Reimer Award : UNIFOR
2016 - Jordan’s Principle Honoring: Norway House Cree Nation
2016 - Champion for Children: Defense for Children International
2016 - Honorary Recipient, Peter Henderson Bryce Award
2016 -Honoring: BC First Nations Leadership Forum on Child Welfare
2016 - Golden Whistleblower Award: Canadians for Accountability
2016 - Liberty Award (individual): BC Civil Liberties Association:
2016 - Order of the Buffalo Hunt, Government of Manitoba
2015 - Assembly of First Nations Honoring for work on Canadian Human Rights Tribunal
2017 - Research Steering Group Member, Global Child CIHR project to develop compliance indicators for the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
2016 - Co-convenor, Reimaging Child Welfare Symposium. Partnership with Osgoode Law School, TAG, African Canadian Legal Centre and the Caring Society
2016 - Moderator: Big Thinking Lecture by Noaimi Klein; Federation of the Humanities and Social Sciences
2015 - SSHRC Journal Grant for First Peoples Child and Family Review (2015-2018): Principal Investigator: Cindy Blackstock.
2015 - Advisor, New Zealand Royal Society Marsden Fund Research Program “Children visiting a museum: information gathering or creative capacity building?”
2012 - Building Capacity with First Nations and mainstream Youth Protection services in Quebec. Collaborator: Principal Investigator: Nico Trocme.
2011 - SSHRC grant for First Peoples Child and Family Review. Principal Investigator: Cindy Blackstock
2009 - Nova Scotia Department of Community Services and Mi’kmaw Family and Children’s Services. When Everything Matters: Comparing the factors contributing to the reunification or continuance in child welfare care for First Nations and non Aboriginal children in Nova Scotia.
2007 - National Collaborating Centre on Aboriginal Health. Development of the Scientific Vision for NCCAH 2007. Public Health Agency of Canada and the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child. Supporting the development of the UNCRC general comment on Indigenous child rights.
2005 - Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. Wen: de: The Journey Continues. Available on line at www.fncaringsociety.com
2005 - Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. Wen: de: We are coming to the light of day. Available on line at www.fncaringsociety.com
2004 - Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. Bridging Econometrics with First Nations child and family service practice. Available on line at www.fncaringsociety.com
2004 - Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. Staying at Home: Least Disruptive Measures
2004 - Health Canada. Keeping the Promise: The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Lived Experience of First Nations Children and Young People Voluntary Sector Initiative, Government of Canada. Caring Across the Boundaries: Exploring the Nature and Extent of Engagement of the Voluntary Sector with First Nations Children and Families.
Publications in Refereed Journals
Blackstock, C. (2016). Toward the full and proper implementation of Jordan’s Principle: An elusive goal to date. Paediatric Child Health 21(5), 245-246.
In press - Blackstock, C. Is the law enough? Enveloping Indigenous child rights law in social movements. Australian Indigenous Law Reporter.
In press - Blackstock, C., Clarke, S., & Levesque, A. The Evidence: Canadian Human Rights Tribunal on First Nations Child Welfare. journal Enfance, Famille, Générations.
2015 - Fallon, B, Chabot, M., Fluke, J., Blackstock, C. & Sinha, V. (2015). Exploring alternate specification to explain agency- level effects in placement decisions regarding Aboriginal children. Child Abuse & Neglect (in press).
2015 - Blackstock. C. Should Governments be Above the Law? The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal on First Nations Child Welfare. Children Australia, 40 (2), 95-104.
2013 - Blackstock, C. Opening statement of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada: Canadian Human Rights Tribunal. Kanata, 6 (Winter 2013), 16-21.
2013 - Blackstock, C. & Auger, A. Pursuing human rights for community-level resilience: The Jordan’s Principle case, process and initiative as resilient community action. International Journal of Child and Adolescent Resilience, 1 (1). http://is-car.ca/ijcar/issues/vol1/jan2013/5.html
2013 - Fallon, B., Chabot, M., Fluke, J., Blackstock, C., Maclaurin, B., & Tonmyr, L. Placement decisions and disparities among Aboriginal children: further analysis of the Canadian Incidence Study on Reported Child Abuse and Neglect part A: comparisons of the 1998 and 2003 surveys. Child Abuse and Neglect, 37 (1) 47-60.
2013 - Chabot, M., Fallon, B., Tonmyr, L., Maclaurin, B., Fluke, J. & Blackstock, C. Exploring alternate specifications to explain agency-level effects in placement decisions regarding Aboriginal children: further analysis of the Canadian Incidence Study on Reported Child Abuse and Neglect. Child Abuse and Neglect, 37 (1), 61-76.
2012 - Blackstock, C. Aboriginal Child Welfare Self-Government and the Rights of Indigenous Children: A book review. Children and Youth Services Review, 34(12), 2504-2506.
2012 - Blackstock, C. Jordan’s Principle: Canada’s broken promise to First Nations children? Paediatrics and Child Health, 17(7), 368-370.
2012 - Cross, T. & Blackstock, C. We are the manifestations of our ancestor’s prayers. Child Welfare, 91 (3), 9-14.