SASKATOON -- The NDP says statistics from the Ministry of Social Services detailing the number of children in foster care shows a troubling trend.

“We need to act now on poverty and address the root causes on who ends up in care and that involves working together with first nations people,” Ryan Meili NDP leader said during a joint Zoom press conference with the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN)

According to the ministry, in March, just over 3,300 children were in care.  During the same period in 2016, around 2.900 children were in care.

“As we move forward in this transition it will take us to work together under Bill C92 however we need to begin to undo the damages done by colonialism and the misguided policies that have impacted First Nations people,” David Pratt, FSIN Vice-Chief said.

In a statement, the ministry said it has made significant strides in helping Indigenous families to stay together. 

"Children only come into care when there are no options to ensure their safety at home. In the case where a child or youth comes into care, we look to their extended family first. Around 60 percent of children in all out-of-home care placements live with their extended family," the satement from the Ministry of Social Services said. 

The ministry said it will continue to work to address the issue.