CHRT decision a step towards justice for First Nations children and families

ANISHINABEK NATION HEAD OFFICE (August 2, 2023) – Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Reg Niganobe commends the recent Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) approval of the $23.4 billion settlement agreement for First Nations children, youth, and families impacted by the federal government’s discriminatory funding of child welfare services.

“Money can’t undo the harm that has been caused by this systemic discrimination; however, this settlement agreement is a step towards justice for First Nations children and families,” states Grand Council Chief Niganobe.

The recent CHRT approval is the latest decision in a historic human rights case filed in 2007 by the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada and the Assembly of First Nations.

In 2016, the CHRT found the federal government willfully and recklessly discriminating against First Nations through the inequitable funding of child and family services and through failure to fully implement Jordan’s Principle. Canada was immediately ordered to cease its discriminatory conduct.

“The Anishinabek Nation’s approach to preventing this kind of discrimination is embedded within the organization,” says Anishinabek Nation Children’s Commissioner Duke Peltier. “We’ve been entrusted to ensure we raise our children in the proper way — together with our families and communities.”

In September 2019, the CHRT ordered Canada to provide $40,000 in compensation to all First Nations children who were unnecessarily placed into out-of-home care from January 1, 2006, to a date that is to be determined by the CHRT. Parents or guardians of these children could also be eligible for compensation.

“The CHRT has approved a settlement agreement that First Nations children, youth, and families deserve,” adds Grand Council Chief Niganobe. “As a meaningful act of reconciliation, we look forward to a formal apology from the Prime Minister and remain hopeful that Canada will continue to work with First Nations in achieving generational healing through reformation.”

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