AMC commends victory for First Nations CHildren and Families: Canadian Human Rights Tribunal orders Compensation 2019 CHRT 39
Treaty One Territory, Winnipeg, Manitoba _ Today marks another win for First Nations children and their families as the Canadian Human Right Tribunal (CHRT) issued their 8th non-compliance order (2019 CHRT 39) regarding compensation for First Nations children and their families who were negatively impacted by Canada’s discriminatory practices.
In this ruling, the CHRT has ordered Canada to pay the maximum amount allowable under the Canadian Human Rights Act (CHRA) to compensate First Nations children, youth and families who have been harmed by the child welfare system or were denied or delayed receipt of services due to Canada’s discriminatory implementation of Jordan’s Principle. Specifically, Canada is ordered to pay: $20,000 to each First Nations child who was removed from their home and placed in the child welfare system from December 12, 2007 –November 2, 2017, $20,000 to each First Nation parent or grand-parent who had their child removed from their home from December 12, 2007 – November 2, 2017 and an additional $20,000 to each First Nation child and parent or grand-parent who had their child removed between January 1, 2006 and until discrimination by Canada ceases.
“This decision is monumental. I commend the continued advocacy of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society and Dr. Cindy Blackstock for the benefit of First Nations children and their families,” said Grand Chief Arlen Dumas. “When we look at the history of First Nation child welfare policy in this country there was one consistent goal: assimilation. Government policy was invasive and destructive; it cut to the core of our Nations,” said Grand Chief Dumas.
Grand Chief Dumas concluded, “The past and current provincial system is not working. This is why the AMC supports the continued reform of the First Nations Child and Family Services program that empowers our families by incorporating First Nations values, beliefs, and traditions while taking into account the unique cultural values and languages of the five Nation groups in Manitoba through our proposed Bringing Our Children Home Act. This view is consistent with the strong direction from the CHRT that Canada must respect “First Nations human rights and Indigenous rights of self-determination and self-governance.”
The Tribunal gave the Parties until December 10, 2019 to develop a process for the distribution of the compensation. The CHRT has said that there is a need for establishing a process where children are under 18 or 21 years old have the compensation paid to them secured in a fund that would be accessible upon reaching the age of majority. For more information on the case, visit fnwitness.ca.
About the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs
The AMC was formed in 1988 by the Chiefs in Manitoba to advocate on issues that commonly affect First Nations in Manitoba. AMC is an authorized representative of 62 First Nations in Manitoba with a total of more than 151,000 First Nation citizens in the province, accounting for approximately 12 per cent of the provincial population. AMC represents a diversity of Anishinaabe (Ojibway), Nehetho (Cree), Oji-Cree, Dene and Dakota people and traditions.
For more information, please contact:
Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs
Phone: (204) 987-4139