The Government of Canada is failing First Nations Children

On January 26, 2016, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) ruled that the Government of Canada racially discriminates against 165,000 First Nations children.

The Tribunal found that Canada has known for decades about the inequities in child welfare and other government services for First Nations children, yet has repeatedly ignored calls for reform. Unfortunately, the pattern continues. The Tribunal issued two non-compliance orders against Canada in 2016 and another one in May 2017 -- meanwhile First Nations children and their families are suffering irreparable harms.  

The funding discrepancies in government services mean that generation after generation of First Nations children have been separated from their families unnecessarily, compounding the harms of the residential school system. As we pass the 150th anniversary of Confederation, it is past time to right this wrong.

We are calling on the Government of Canada to fully comply with the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal orders.

This means:

  • Canada must cease its discriminatory practices regarding the First Nations Child and Family Services program
  • Immediate relief to address the most egregious impacts of the discrimination. The First Nations Child & Family Caring Society estimates that immediate relief funding falls at least 155 million dollars short after accounting for Budget 2016.
  • Full and proper implementation of Jordan’s PrincipleJordan’s Principle ensures First Nations children can access government services on the same terms as other children. It applies to all First Nations children, on and off reserve. Jordan’s Principle applies to ALL public services available to other children (not just health and social services)
  • Commit to working with First Nations to develop a comprehensive and public plan to end funding gaps across all public service inequities affecting First Nations children such as in education, early childhood and health. 

These injustices cannot be allowed to persist any longer. The Government of Canada must immediately implement the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal orders.

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