(Toronto, September 6, 2019) Chiefs of Ontario welcomes today’s decision from the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal that recognizes that First Nations children and families have gone through pain and suffering “of the worst kind” in the child welfare system, and from failures to fully implement Jordan’s Principle. It also found that Canada was wilful and reckless in its discrimination. Today’s ruling found that Canada owes compensation of about $40,000 each to certain affected First Nations children and their families.
The Tribunal already found earlier, in a landmark 2016 decision, that First Nations people have experienced discrimination from the federal funding policies underlying the child welfare system, and that Canada was not fully implementing Jordan’s Principle. This new compensation order flows from these established findings.
We note that it is still unclear whether the federal government will apply for Judicial Review of this new decision on compensation. It is important for families to understand that the details on compensation are still to be worked out, including how any compensation would be delivered in Ontario. No compensation is available yet. There is no process for application yet.
Chiefs of Ontario is still reviewing the decision, which is complex.
Background: Chiefs of Ontario participates in this case at the Tribunal as an interested party. The case was launched in 2007 by the Assembly of First Nations and the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada. The AFN and Caring Society sought compensation as part of their human rights complaint, which led to today’s decision. Chiefs of Ontario will continue participating on this matter both in the litigation and in any other tables for discussions.
About COO: Chiefs of Ontario is a political forum and secretariat for collective decision-making, action, and advocacy for the 133 First Nations communities located within the boundaries of the province of Ontario. Guided by the Chiefs in Assembly, we uphold self-determination efforts of the Anishinaabek, Mushkegowuk, Onkwehonwe, and Lenape Peoples in protecting and exercising their inherent and Treaty rights.
The Chiefs of Ontario is a political forum and a secretariat for collective decision making, action, and advocacy for the 133 First Nation communities located within the boundaries of the province of Ontario, Canada. Follow Chiefs of Ontario on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter @ChiefsOfOntario.
Media Contact: Scott Cavan, Scott.Cavan@coo.org or cell: 416-522-0706