June 21st, 2007

Aboriginals at the margins
A scathing report on the condition of Aboriginal peoples had sparked interest in sweeping reforms aimed at restoring social norms and economic productivity to Aboriginal communities. An inquiry headed up by a former director of public prosecutions, Rex Wild, and an Aboriginal health worker, Pat Anderson, reported on conditions of material poverty and social breakdown that are well known, but it was the rampant child sexual abuse that made headlines here. Aiming to pierce a "veil of silence" over widespread child abuse and incest, the inquiry found sexual abuse in every community they visited in Australia's Northern Territory. So harrowing was the report -- detailing sexual abuse of children as young as three-years-old -- that its title, Little Children Are Sacred, was often misreported as Little Children Are Scared, which no doubt they are.

Program helps low income earners
Opportunities Career Services Society is launching a new program in Campbell River and Courtenay. Two years in the development, the Opportunities Asset Building Program is an innovative initiative designed to help people with lower incomes to save money, OCSS says in a news release. “It helps people struggling to build a more secure future by assisting them to increase their financial assets,” explains Carlie Bennett, OCSS executive director.