June 27, 2023

(xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh)/Vancouver, B.C.) The First Nations Leadership Council (FNLC) is deeply disturbed by the findings reported in the Representative for Children and Youth’s (RCY) most recent publication entitled, The Right to Thrive: An Urgent Call to Recognize, Respect and Nurture Two Spirit, Trans, Non-Binary and other Gender Diverse Children and Youth (The Right to Thrive), which illuminates significant human rights violations, experienced by Two Spirit, Trans, Non-Binary and other Gender Diverse (2STNBGD) children and youth, as a result of antiquated, disinformed, discriminative, and deficient system of supports.

This report reveals that 2STNBGD children and youth in British Columbia (B.C.) experience inequitable access to essential gender-affirming care and support, although a fundamental right, reflected in The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and higher rates of suicidal ideation, self-harm, and suicidality, particularly for youth in care and those residing in staffed resources. Conversely, the RCY reports that 2STNBGD children and youth who are supported and affirmed, can experience positive life outcomes, like their cis-gender peers, highlighting the impacts of socio-political and structural inequalities, on an already disenfranchised and racialized population.