A Significant Victory in Securing a Future For Our Children

February 1, 2018 1:33 pm
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Chiefs of Ontario convinces Canadian Human Rights Tribunal to order Canada to fund Band Representative Services and Mental Health Services

(Ottawa, February 1, 2018) Today, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal released an important decision about Canada’s discrimination against First Nation children and young people in the child welfare system.  This Tribunal concluded that Canada continues to discriminate against First Nations kids, and ordered short-term remedies that Canada has to provide to help fix discrimination now. As this decision is implemented, Canada will continue to work with First Nations and others towards broader reform of child welfare services.

In this motion, the Chiefs of Ontario (COO) asked the Tribunal to order Canada to fund band representative services and mental health services for First Nations children and young people in Ontario. The Tribunal agreed, and ordered Canada to fund mental health services and band representative services in Ontario going forward, and to reimburse First Nations, Tribal Councils, and others that have been providing these services out of their own revenue back to January 26, 2016.

“Today is a significant victory and a first step towards ending the child welfare crisis. Our communities are ready for change and ready to gain back control when it comes to their children and families. I must commend our leadership and technicians who have spent the past two years working on this file,” said Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day.  “There is much more work to be done in the coming months as we work to ensure these orders are fully implemented, and we will continue to rely upon our strong and willing partners in both the federal and provincial governments. All children and families in our 133 First Nations have greater potential because of this ruling; now implementing the order will require everyone working together – that will be our most import next step.”

“The health and wellbeing of our children is not just a matter of child welfare,” said AIAI Grand Chief Joel Abram, co-chair of the Chiefs Committee on Social Development. “We need departments and ministries working together to help us improve the well-being of our children. We are very pleased with the Tribunal’s decision. However, this is still a short-term remedy. We need to work together with Canada and Ontario towards a long-term plan to bring our children back to their communities, and back to their families.”

To read the latest CHRT decision in First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, FAQ’s, reimbursement forms and to read more about the orders and what they mean please visit: http://www.chiefs-of-ontario.org/priorities/social/

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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 or Twitter @ChiefsOfOntario.

Media Inquiries please contact: Bryan Hendry, Policy and Strategic Communications

Phone: 613-863-1764 E-mail: Bryan.Hendry@coo.org

 

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