(Ottawa, ON) – Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Manitoba Regional Chief Cindy Woodhouse says First Nations advocacy and leadership has been successful in securing a decision by the Government of Canada to withdraw its application for judicial review of a Canadian Human Rights Tribunal’s (Tribunal) ruling on capital assets funding for First Nations child and family services and Jordan’s Principle.
“This is another step in the right direction. I am pleased that Canada has withdrawn its appeal of the Tribunal’s order regarding the funding of capital assets,” said AFN Regional Chief Cindy Woodhouse. “We remain optimistic in view of Canada’s recent willingness to work with the AFN and interested parties to find the solutions needed to fix the broken child welfare system that has harmed so many First Nations children, youth and families.”
The Government of Canada announced today that it will ensure that First Nations have access to funding for the purchase and construction of capital assets in accordance with the Tribunal’s order to support the delivery of the First Nations Child and Family Services program and Jordan’s Principle.
“The tireless advocacy of First Nations, from coast to coast to coast, supported by the AFN through our work at the negotiation table, with all parties, has led to this decision by the federal government to withdraw its application for judicial review,” said Regional Chief Woodhouse. “The AFN will continue working toward final agreements on compensation for the children and families impacted by Canada’s discriminatory practices, and the fundamental reforms necessary to change the system and ensure that discrimination does not happen again. The focus must now be on the children and keeping families together and connected to their cultures, languages and homelands, which will ultimately be supported by ensuring First Nations have the space they need to deliver services to families safely.”
The AFN, the Government of Canada and other parties to the recently announced Agreements-in-Principle are currently working toward a final settlement agreement that could secure compensation to more than 200,000 First Nations children and youth who were removed from their homes and nations or denied services under Jordan’s Principle. The Parties are also working towards a final agreement on long-term reform to end the discrimination against First Nations children and families. This is expected to include lasting changes to ensure that the discrimination does not recur and emphasize First Nations participation and control over the delivery of child and family services.
The AFN, together with the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, filed a human rights complaint against the Government of Canada in 2007. The CHRT ruled in 2016 that the Government of Canada discriminated against First Nations children by underfunding First Nations child and family services on-reserves and in its failure to properly implement Jordan’s Principle.
The AFN is the national organization representing First Nations people in Canada. Follow AFN on Twitter @AFN_Updates.
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