07/17/2015 08:35 EDT | Updated 07/17/2016 05:59 EDT

Aboriginal Kids Over-Represented In Child Welfare Systems, Premiers Urge Ottawa To Act

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The Canadian flag flies above Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014. Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty ramped up efforts to return the country to surplus in a budget that raises taxes on cigarettes and cuts benefits to retired government workers while providing more aid for carmakers. Photographer: Cole Burston/Bloomberg via Getty Images
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - Canada's premiers are raising concerns about the high number of aboriginal children in care as they urge the federal government to help them address the issue.

The premiers released a report by their Aboriginal Children in Care Working Group at the Council of the Federation meeting in St. John's, N.L.

It says indigenous kids are over-represented in child welfare systems across Canada.

It calls for more social and economic supports that might improve life for the most at-risk children.

They include poverty reduction strategies, food security measures, better housing and improved mental health and addiction programs.

The report says the premiers invited the federal government to be part of the study but it did not respond.

The federal government defended its record in a statement, saying it introduced changes in 2006 to the way child and family services are delivered on reserves that is based on prevention.

It says spending on child and family services on reserves increased by 40 per cent from 2006 to the 2013-14 fiscal year.