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Federal Government Signs $ 20 Billion Compensation Agreement for Indigenous Child Welfare

Transaction must be approved by Canadian Human Rights Court and Federal Court

Cindy Woodhouse, Assembly of First Nations regional chief, speaks during an event to announce support for Toba Centre for Children and Youth at Assiniboine Park in Winnipeg, April 19, 2022.
First Nations Regional Director Cindy Woodhouse announces support for the Toba Children's Youth Center in Winnipeg's Asini Boyne Park on April 19, 2022. I will give a lecture during the event.[Author] Photo KEVINKING /Winnipeg Sun

OTTAWA — Federal Government Final Settlement of $ 20 Billion Signed contract Canada Indigenous Services said Monday was the largest such deal in Canadian history for First Nations children and their families hurt by a chronic shortage of reserve child welfare. To compensate.

"First Nations children deserve to live surrounded by love and free from discriminatory government policies," said Cindy Wood, Manitova Regional Chief of the First Nations Parliament. House said in a statement on Monday.

"And after 30 years of advocacy and months of negotiations, on behalf of AFN, we have reached another historic milestone for our children and their families.

The agreement signed between Canada, the First Parliament, and the plaintiffs in the two class actions also explains the federal government's narrow definition of Jordanian principles. .. It was designed so that the dispute over jurisdiction over the payment of First Nations children's services does not interfere with the services offered.

"The parties resolve claims for compensation to recognize families and people who have been severely damaged through discriminatory and systematic racially discriminatory child welfare practices. We have agreed to the plan, "said Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services.

The federal government announced in January that it had reached an agreement in principle. This includes $ 20 billion for compensation and another $ 20 billion for reforming the child welfare system of the first country in five years. In the 2021 renewal, the full amount of $ 40 billion was allocated.

The First Nations Children and Family Caring Society and the First Nations Parliament first filed a complaint under the Canadian Human Rights Act in 2007, comparing the chronic shortage of reserve child welfare services to services. It is offered to children in other communities by the state government, which has claimed to be discriminatory.

Otawa pays for reserve child welfare, but only when the child is placed in a nursery, it matches the state's spending. The result is more child anxiety and family division than necessary, and less service and support to help the family survive the crisis.

According to 2016 census data, less than 8% of Canadian children under the age of 15 are indigenous, while indigenous youth are half of the children in nursing homes under the age of 15. It occupies the above.

In 2016, the Canadian Human Rights Court ruled that the federal government discriminated against First Nations children. The free government has appealed the ruling and asked the court to revoke it. The court refused.

In 2019, the court will tell the government the maximum amount of compensation that can be ordered from all children unnecessarily removed from their families after January 1, 2006 and their parents or grandparents. I ordered you to pay $ 40,000). I was taken away.

The court also ruled that the standards need to be expanded so that more first-country children can be subject to Jordanian principles. I gave it.

The federal government also challenged the court's order in federal court and appealed a ruling in support of it last fall.

However, the complaint was suspended until negotiations with indigenous leaders on the compensation program were completed. Former Senator Murray Sinclair, who chaired the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, was hired to facilitate the talks.

The agreement was finally signed by all parties and submitted to federal court. Both the court and the Canadian Human Rights Court must approve the settlement before the money is distributed.

Hajdu said he couldn't say when people could apply for and receive compensation, but said AFN expects it to be next year.

Another $ 20 billion for long-term reforms includes five years of funding for the First Nations Child and Family Services program.

Hajdu said that negotiations are more complex and "need to create a built-in mechanism to ensure that children receive equal and proper care, and more and more, the indigenous community controls it. You need to have the tools you need to grab it. "It cares about itself.

These reforms are largely based on bill C-92 passed in June 2019, with the indigenous community's child welfare services under the jurisdiction of the indigenous family and the community itself. I'm checking.

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