Ottawa will provide $20 billion to compensate children and families of victims of discrimination through the First Nations Child and Family Services (FNFSCS) program and the Jordan Principle.
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“After three decades of advocacy and months of negotiations, I am proud to announce on behalf of the First Nations Assembly (AFN) that we have reached another historic milestone for our children and their families,” said AFN Manitoba regional director. Cindy Woodhouse said in a statement.
“We have kept our children in our hearts and prayers throughout negotiations to reach a settlement that we believe fairly upholds the 2019 Canadian Human Rights Court orders and broadens the scope of First Nations children and families, who are entitled to compensation when they are discriminated against under federal law, the First Nations Child and Family Services program and the close application of the Jordanian Principle,” she added.
The federal government, for its part, spoke of a “historic settlement agreement – the largest in Canadian history – that recognizes the harm inflicted on First Nations children and their families”.
“Historical damage requires historical reparations. While no compensation can compensate for the pain and trauma that the Canadian government’s actions have inflicted on First Nations children and families, this final settlement is an important step in acknowledging the damage done and beginning the hard healing work.” said Minister of Indigenous Services Patty Hajdu.
The $20 billion agreement provides for compensation for children “who were employed through the First Nations Child and Family Services program between Janah April 1991 and March 31, 2022” and those “affected by the narrow definition of the Jordanian principle adopted by the government between December 12, 2007 and November 2, 2017”.
Children who are between 1ah April 1991 and December 11, 2007 may also be entitled to compensation, just as parents or grandparents caring for these children may also be entitled to compensation.
Although this final settlement agreement is subject to the approval of Canada’s Human Rights Court and the Federal Court of Canada, the AFN expects compensation to begin flowing to First Nations over the next year.
A motion to approve the settlement is expected to be heard in the federal court of Canada in September 2022. The agreement will include a distribution protocol that will set out who is entitled to compensation and how to claim it.