Assembly of First Nations Welcomes Canadian Human Rights Tribunal Decision on Compensation for First Nation Children in Government Care

Published: Apr 23, 2020News

(Ottawa, ON): Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde is pleased with the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) decision of April 16, 2020, that provides further clarity on compensation for First Nations children unnecessarily apprehended or denied essential Jordan’s Principal services. The Tribunal’s decision also put forward several other questions for the Parties – the AFN, Canada, and the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society – to negotiate regarding the compensation framework.

“The AFN has won new ground in this fight for First Nation children and families and will continue to push for a fair and just approach to compensation,” said AFN National Chief Bellegarde. “The Tribunal agreed with the AFN on key compensation criteria for those wrongly apprehended in Canada’s child welfare system. This is a positive decision because the AFN wants to ensure a comprehensive compensation framework that addresses the harms done. The CHRT has now put additional questions for the parties to consider and we will work constructively to ensure justice for First Nations children and families.”

On April 16 the CHRT issued a decision relating to its earlier award of compensation for all children wrongly apprehended in Canada’s child welfare system. The Tribunal agreed with the AFN’s submission that victims should be able to access compensation at the age of territorial or provincial majority; that compensation should be available to children who entered care before January 1, 2006, but remained in care as of that date; and compensation should be paid to estates of deceased individuals who would have been eligible.

Manitoba Regional Chief, Kevin Hart, holds the child welfare file within the AFN.

“The AFN will always fight for the First Nations children and families caught up in the ineffective child welfare system. This is an important win, but we will continue to seek further clarification on the decision. Canada must compensate those First Nations families who have experienced a child welfare system that hurt our most vulnerable. Our children are our most precious resource. They have been given to us by the Creator and it is our sacred duty to ensure their health and safety,” Regional Chief Kevin Hart said.

It is estimated that approximately 54,000 children could have benefitted from the previous compensation ruling. The CHRT has issued seven compliance orders against Canada since its original ruling in January 2016.


The AFN is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada.  Follow AFN on Twitter @AFN_Updates.


For more information please contact:

Michael Hutchinson
Senior Communication Advisor
Assembly of First Nations
613-241-6789 ext. 244
613-859-6831 (cell)
[email protected]

Monica Poirier
Bilingual Communications Officer
Assembly of First Nations
613-241-6789 ext. 382
613-292-0857 (mobile)
[email protected]