AFN National Chief Cindy Woodhouse Nepinak Welcomes Federal Court Approval of $23 Billion in Compensation Distribution Protocol

Published: Jun 20, 2024Press Release

(June 20, 2024 – Unceded Algonquin Territory, Ottawa) – Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Cindy Woodhouse Nepinak welcomed today the Federal Court of Canada’s decision to approve the Distribution Protocol for the removed children and their parents or caregiving grandparents relating to the $23 billion final settlement agreement that will compensate First Nations children and families that experienced discrimination through the First Nations Child and Family Services Program and narrow application of Jordan’s Principle.

“This is an important step forward for First Nations children and families,” said National Chief Cindy Woodhouse Nepinak. “We have fought for years in court for the acknowledgement of harms done to our families by discriminatory practices. The approval of the Distribution Protocol is one of the final legal steps required before compensation can begin reaching eligible First Nations children and families. I thank the Honourable Justice Mandy Aylen and the Federal Court for its approval and support of this Protocol.”

The Distribution Protocol outlines eligibility criteria for the removed child class and the family class members and provides a framework for how these claimants can apply for compensation. It was developed through consultation and engagement with First Nations, alongside technicians and the compensation Administrator, Deloitte.

Representative plaintiff Melissa Walterson said, “The approval of the Distribution Protocol now allows for compensation to start rolling out in approximately six months. I am pleased our final settlement agreement was approved by a compassionate Justice in the fall of 2023, followed by the approval of our claims application process today. Looking ahead, I eagerly anticipate the forthcoming disbursement of payments, providing much-needed relief to all individuals impacted by the child welfare system.”

“Today is a good day for those individuals who are entitled to compensation,” added representative plaintiff Carolyn Buffalo. “I am pleased that compensation will be rolling out in the near future. Now that the application process has been approved for the Removed Class, we can commence our important work on developing the distribution protocol for the Jordan’s Principle Class.”

“I would like to thank the representative plaintiffs for their resilience throughout this process,” continued National Chief Woodhouse Nepinak. “They have been pillars of strength and advocacy for the thousands of children and families who experienced discrimination. I would also like to thank the Settlement Implementation Committee and Class Counsel for the Representative Plaintiffs for their work. They put forward a strong motion for approval in the Removed Child and Removed Child Family Classes. Although no amount of money can make up for the harms experienced, we can soon begin to see compensation flowing to eligible children and families.”

The Administrator (Deloitte) will now have six months to finalize the claims process before applications become available. Application forms should be available before the end of 2024. For information about the settlement, please consult the Administrator website at


The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) is a national advocacy organization that works to advance the collective aspirations of First Nations individuals and communities across Canada on matters of national or international nature and concern.

Contact information:

Jamie Monastyrski
Press Secretary
Office of the National Chief
(613) 612-7229 (mobile)
[email protected]

Kelly Reid
Senior Communications Officer
Assembly of First Nations
(613) 292-0857 (mobile)
[email protected]