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A Federal Court judge has verbally approved a landmark $23-billion settlement that will see Ottawa compensate more than 300,000 First Nations children and their families over chronic underfunding of on-reserve child-welfare services.
The Assembly of First Nations and the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society first launched a human-rights complaint in 2007.
In 2016, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal called the federal government’s treatment of First Nations child welfare “wilful and reckless.”
It found First Nations are adversely impacted by the services provided by the government and, in some cases, denied services as a result of the government’s involvement.
Ottawa had offered to spend $20 billion to reform the child-welfare system and another $20 billion on compensation last year, but the tribunal raised concerns that not all eligible claimants would receive compensation.
Indigenous Services Minister Patty Hajdu says she’s happy the settlement has been approved, and she hopes there will be peace for the litigants.