Human rights justice for First Nations children

January 5, 2022 – Ottawa, Ontario – Canadian Human Rights Commission

“The Canadian Human Rights Commission welcomes the historic $40 billion dollar agreement-in-principle to reform the First Nations child and family services program, to ensure Canada’s implementation of Jordan’s Principle, and to compensate some 200,000 First Nations children and families who suffered as a result of Canada’s discriminatory funding of these services.

“This agreement stems from the landmark 2016 Canadian Human Rights Tribunal decision that found Canada was discriminating against First Nations children and families in the provision of services. If approved and finalized, it will end litigation that began in 2007 with a discrimination complaint to the Canadian Human Rights Commission from the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society and the Assembly of First Nations.

“We welcome this agreement-in-principle as an important step towards meaningful and measurable change for First Nations families. We recognize the intention of this agreement to address the long-standing systemic root causes and create long-term reform that will remove barriers for First Nations children and allow them to thrive and remain connected to their communities. 

“Financial compensation to the children and families who experienced discrimination is important. Long-term reform of the First Nations child and family services program and ensuring Canada’s full implementation of Jordan’s Principle is the key to ensuring that this discrimination never happens again. The Commission hopes that once finalized, this agreement will lead to broad reform that meets the distinct needs of First Nations children and families. These reforms must be grounded in the spirit of reconciliation, human rights, the right to self-determination, and the principles laid out in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”

— Marie-Claude Landry, Chief Commissioner, Canadian Human Rights Commission

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