Virtual Library of Newspaper Articles

The Canadian Press

Report finds native students falling behind

Canadian Press, Toronto Star and various other Canadian newspapers, by SUE BAILEY, Nov. 23, 2004

OTTAWA — It will take aboriginal high school students 28 years to match non-native graduation rates and they're losing ground, says the auditor general.

Indian Affairs is dragging its heels on a troubling range of old problems, Sheila Fraser said in a report Tuesday.

These include jurisdictional squabbles, low teacher salaries and a lack of professional training.

More over, Ottawa can't say whether more than $1 billion spent each year on native education is too much or too little to meet required standards.

Fraser also blasts Indian Affairs for poorly tracking another $273 million spent on college and university funding.

"As a result, the department does not know whether program funds are sufficient to support all eligible students, and it has no assurance that only (those) taking eligible courses are receiving funding," Fraser says.

She uses the most recent census data to estimate that the chasm between native and non-native high schoolers has slightly widened to 28 from 27 years.

Just over 40 per cent of reserve residents had a high school diploma compared to almost 70 per cent of the general population, says the 2001 census.

"I am concerned by the limited progress in closing the education gap between people living on reserves and other Canadians," Fraser said. "Despite a commitment made in 2000, the department has still not clarified its role and responsibilities in improving the educational achievements of First Nations."

This is a vital first step as a young aboriginal population grows at about twice the Canadian birth rate, Fraser says. Indian Affairs must come up with reliable estimates on the cost of educating students on reserves and off, she added.

The one bright light she noted in an otherwise dim performance was improved programs for special education.

Indian Affairs accepted the criticism and said it's working with First Nations as they demand increasing control over schooling.

Native bands manage all but seven of 503 schools on reserves.

A big problem is conflicting attitudes in Ottawa over who's responsible for the system's failing grade, Fraser said. Native leaders say they need Read More ..deral cash to offer better education. But some bureaucrats say the problem is no longer theirs, Fraser told a news conference.

The $1 billion spent each year on education eats up 20 per cent of the Indian Affairs budget and is the department's largest program.

In 2002-03, the money funded about 120,000 students of which some 60 per cent went to school on reserves.

First Nations get education funding from Ottawa but must follow provincial standards.

Indian Affairs says it's crafting a new reporting scheme to clarify its duties, goals and to better track tax dollars.

Jurisdictional disputes are still causing confusion as federal and provincial officials battle over which government is responsible for students who leave reserves. For example, it's still unclear who should pay when native parents move away to attend college or university and take their children with them, Fraser says.

The Assembly of First Nations, representing more than 600 bands across Canada, says education is a treaty right that covers all levels up to university.

Mainichi Daily News| Woman who cut off her newborn son's genitals handed 5-year prison term

Woman who cut off her newborn son's private parts handed 5-year prison term

Mainichi Daily News, Sakai, Osaka, Japan, November 26, 2006

SAKAI, Osaka -- A woman accused of cutting off her newborn son's private parts in 2004 was ordered Monday to spend five years behind bars.

The Sakai branch of the Osaka District Court convicted Shizue Tamura, 27, a resident of Izumi, Osaka Prefecture, of inflicting bodily injury.

"The way she committed the crime was unprecedented, inhumane and cruel," Presiding Judge Masahiro Hosoi said as he handed down the ruling. Prosecutors had demanded an eight-year prison term.  Read More ..

Toronto Sun logo

Mom's death dance


Toronto Sun
September 29, 2004

SINGLE MOM Clara DaSilva admitted yesterday she danced the night away while her 2-year-daughter was dying of dehydration in a sweltering apartment. Tiny toddler Adrianna Maria DaSilva was abandoned for at least 33 hours in a 35C room before her mom discovered her dead on Sept. 9, 2002.

Clara DaSilva, 24, pleaded guilty to manslaughter. Justice David Watt will sentence her shortly after Jan. 17 following a five-day trial with one contested fact -- the allegation that her purse, with keys and cash, was stolen at a club the day of her child's death.   Read More ..

Canadian Press - New Brunswick woman ruled responsible in burning of baby's body

New Brunswick woman ruled responsible in burning of baby's body

ST. STEPHEN, N.B. - A New Brunswick judge says a woman who burned and dismembered her newborn son is criminally responsible for her actions.

Becky Sue Morrow earlier pleaded guilty to offering an indignity to a dead body and disposing of a newborn with the intent of concealing a delivery.

Judge David Walker ruled Friday that the 27-year-old woman may have been suffering from a mental disorder when she delivered the baby but that that was not the case when the baby's body was burned and its remains hidden.

It is not known if the baby was alive at the time of birth.

At a hearing last month, the court heard contrasting reports from the two psychiatrists. One said Ms. Morrow was in a "disassociated" mental state when the crime occurred. The other said she clearly planned her actions and understood the consequences.

Associated Press logo

Woman convicted of killing 3 kids after custody battle


HELSINKI, Finland - A court in Finland has convicted a woman of murdering her three young children and has given her a life sentence.

The Espoo District Court says Thai-born Yu-Hsiu Fu was found guilty of strangling her 8-year-old twin daughters and 1-year-old son in her home.

She tried to kill herself afterward.

The verdict on Tuesday says the 41-year-old woman was found to be of sound mind at the time of the murders.

Court papers show the murders were preceded by a bitter custody battle with her Finnish husband who was living separately from her at the time of the murders.

A life sentence in Finland mean convicts usually serve at least 11 years in prison.

Mothers Who Kill Their Children
Canadian Press - Mother child abuse - sentenced 16 years in jail

Ontario woman convicted of son's starvation death granted full parole

Canadian Press
Wednesday, May. 22, 2002

KINGSTON, Ont. (CP) -- An Ontario woman who was sentenced to 16 years in prison in one of Canada's stiffest penalties for child abuse will be released on full parole after serving less than half her term.

Lorelei Turner, 38, and her husband Steven were convicted of manslaughter in July 1995 for beating and starving their three-year-old son John to death in a case that horrified Canadians who followed the trial.

But on Wednesday, a panel of the National Parole Board in this eastern Ontario city ruled Turner will be released but placed on probation until July 2011.

Until then, she must remain within 25 kilometres of her residence, is not allowed unsupervised contact with anyone under 16, and must continue to receive counselling.

"The board would have looked at the risk and obviously found a low risk to reoffend," Carol Sparling of the National Parole Board said Wednesday.