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Manitoba’s newest advocate for children and youth hopes to amplify Indigenous voices

Sherry Gott, who has been appointed Manitoba Advocate for Children and Youth, is photographed at her office in Winnipeg, Thursday, October 20, 2022. Gott is the first Cree woman to be appointed as the Manitoba Advocate for Children and Youth. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods. JGW

Manitoba’s newest advocate for children and youth says she hopes to amplify the voices of Indigenous youth in her new role.

Sherry Gott started her new position last month.

The Cree woman from Sapotaweyak Cree Nation in Manitoba has her masters of social work from the University of Manitoba and spent years working as a social worker.

Most recently she worked with the missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls liaison unit at the advocacy group that represents some northern First Nations in the province.

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Indigenous children are overrepresented in the child-welfare system in Manitoba and across the country, Gott says.

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In a time of reconciliation, she adds, it’s important to have Indigenous people in roles like her as agencies try to address the high numbers of kids in care, and communities work toward exercising jurisdiction over child welfare services through federal legislation.

Elder Louise Lavallee says youth need someone strong to advocate for their rights and Gott is the person to do that.

Click to play video: 'New drop in centre helping Indigenous, newcomer youth in Winnipeg'
New drop in centre helping Indigenous, newcomer youth in Winnipeg

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