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Celebrating Jordan River Anderson on Bear Witness Day

Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation) Territory

On May 10th, the Our Children Our Way Society, alongside our friends, relatives, and colleagues, came together to celebrate and honour Bear Witness Day.  Celebrated annually, Bear Witness Day honours the life of Jordan River Anderson, a beautiful and sacred young boy from the Norway House Cree Nation who died in hospital while the federal and provincial governments debated over who would be responsible for the costs of his care. In his legacy, Jordan’s Principle was established. Jordan’s Principle is a child first principle and legal rule, named in memory of Jordan, which ensures First Nations children receive the services and supports they need, when they need them.

Spirit Bear also celebrates his birthday each year on May 10th. The team at OCOW was so grateful to our community for attending the screening of Jordan River Anderson: The Messenger, for bringing your teddy bears to sit with you, and for participating in a virtual group photo. Bear Witness Day and Spirit Bear’s birthday fall on May 10th to recognize this important date in the history of Jordan’s Principle at the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal. The Tribunal’s first non-compliance order called for Canada to fully implement Jordan’s Principle by May 10, 2016. Unfortunately, it has taken several more years and many non-compliance orders, along with a new filing of non-compliance against Canada in 2024, to see real and meaningful progress.

We raise our hands to the team at the Caring Society for their incredible commitment to bringing honour to Jordan’s life and the tireless work you do to ensure the values and principles of Jordan’s Principle are upheld, that the program is accessible and accountable, and that it is meeting the needs of the very children it was designed to support.

Please watch our website for next year’s Bear Witness Day event!

For further comment contact: Jennifer Chuckry, Executive Director, Our Children Our Way Society, c/o [email protected]