On the eve of the first National Day for Truth & Reconciliation, the Federal Court has ruled in favour of First Nations children and families and against Canada’s efforts to quash the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal’s orders.
The CHRT determined that Canada’s “willful and reckless” discrimination against First Nations children contributed to children being removed unnecessarily from their families and, in some cases, to the deaths of children. The CHRT subsequently awarded up to $40,000 in compensation for victims of this discrimination.
The CHRT also ordered Canada to ensure that all First Nations children who are recognized by their Nations are eligible for services under Jordan’s Principle, regardless of their Indian Act status.
Canada applied for a judicial review of both the compensation and the Jordan’s Principle eligibility orders. Today, the Federal Court dismissed Canada’s application.
The Indigenous Child and Family Services Directors welcome the federal court decision and call upon Canada to stop wasting time and resources in court. “Canada needs to go beyond orange shirts and take meaningful action toward reconciliation. Compensating the children and families who were harmed by Canada’s racist funding policies is an important step in that direction,” says Mary Teegee, Chair of the Indigenous Child and Family Services Directors.