Trans Day of Remembrance + National Children’s Day
On November 20, we remember and honour Two-Spirit, trans and non-binary people killed and abused around the world because of hatred and oppression. And we also celebrate the rights of children, as it is also the National Child Day in Canada. This year, 2023, marks the 30th anniversary of honouring our country's commitment to upholding the rights of children.
In 1991, Canada made the commitment by signing the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Child, to ensure that ALL children are treated with dignity and respect and to have every opportunity to reach their full potential by;
- Providing children opportunities to have a voice (speak out and be heard)
- Protecting children from harm
- Ensuring children’s basic needs are met
After the controversial decisions taken by policy makers in Saskatchewan and New Brunswick, to force education workers to out trans and questioning youth, Canada seems to have only increased the risk for violence and isolation, putting trans children in a very vulnerable state.
In 2021, there were 375 reports of trans people being murdered around the world, and those are only the deaths we know about. The vast majority of victims were trans women. Most were Black, Indigenous or racialized.
Some of the youth that come to visit Chokecherry on a daily basis, do so out of need. Not having a home or a place to sleep, dealing with social and racism barriers, and being immersed in toxic environments (drugs, physical and emotional abuse, lack of support, and others) situates our city’s current youth at risk. Our government made the commitment to honour the rights of EVERY child, no matter their ethnicity, social background or gender identity. It is our responsibility to make this commitment accountable for all youth especially those in vulnerable places.
Chokecherry was founded with the recognition that existing systems rarely meet the needs of youth, and often generate more barriers than solutions because they fail to center the knowledge of lived/living experiences of youth and their communities.
Chokecherry recognizes the dangers that Bill 137 poses for gender-diverse, trans, and non-binary youth, including physical, mental and/or emotional harm. The Rights of Children should not be superseded by parental desires to control or determine the name and/or pronouns by which the child should be referred. Chokecherry stands in solidarity with the students, families, educators, allies, and numerous human rights groups opposing Bill 137.