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Government of Canada going to court to resist fulfilling its obligations to Indigenous children and families

On the eve of the first National Day for Truth & Reconciliation, the Government of Canada is once again going to court to resist fulfilling its obligations to Indigenous children and families.

On August 26, 2021, the CHRT issued a decision ordering Canada to fund the purchase and construction of buildings and other infrastructure needed for the delivery of First Nations child and family services.

There are serious housing and building shortages in many First Nations communities, and the CHRT reminded Canada in its decision that denying funding for safe, confidential and culturally appropriate spaces in which to offer services to First Nations children and families is equivalent to denying those services.

On September 24, 2021, Canada filed an application for a judicial review of the CHRT decision.

In 2016, when the CHRT first ordered Canada to cease its discriminatory conduct toward First Nations children and families, the brand new Trudeau government publicly welcomed the decision. Since then, they have repeatedly failed to implement the orders and the CHRT has issued multiple non-compliance and procedural orders to move Canada into compliance.

When the Final Report of the Truth & Reconciliation Commission was released, Trudeau promised that:

“Moving forward, one of our goals is to help lift this burden from your shoulders, from those of your families, and from your communities. It is to accept fully our responsibilities—and our failings—as a government and a nation.”

The Indigenous Child & Family Services Directors call on the Trudeau government to fulfill that promise by finally and fully complying with the CHRT orders.