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October 24, 2023
Today, the Federal Court of Canada approved the First Nations Child and Family Services, Jordan’s Principle, Trout and Kith Class Settlement Agreement, with reasons to follow. The agreement was reached between the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), the Moushoom and Trout class actions plaintiffs and Canada, with the support of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society.
This First Nations-led agreement includes a total of $23.34 billion to compensate First Nations children and families who were harmed by discriminatory underfunding of the First Nations Child and Family Services (FNCFS) program and those impacted by the federal government’s narrow definition of Jordan’s Principle.
This is a very important milestone in the process towards compensating First Nations children and families for the harms they suffered. This agreement could not have been reached without the hard work of the Parties and First Nations leadership, who never wavered in their dedication and determination that First Nations children and families receive compensation.
If the approval of the agreement is not appealed within the 60-day appeal period following the issuance of the Federal Court’s order on the settlement, the process to implement the settlement through the court ordered third-party administrator could begin later in 2024.
The Hope for Wellness Help Line, which provides immediate, toll-free telephone and online-chat-based support and crisis intervention to all Indigenous Peoples in Canada, is always available. This service is available 24/7 in English and French, and upon request in Cree, Ojibway, and Inuktitut. Counsellors are available by phone at 1-855-242-3310 or by online chat at hopeforwellness.ca.
“This is a welcome step forward compensating affected First Nations and families for the discrimination they experienced. I thank the representative plaintiffs for their strength throughout these proceedings, as they are long overdue for an acknowledgement of the harms experienced. There is still much work to do in order to ensure these discriminatory practices never happen again, and I thank all those involved for their continued efforts on behalf of our communities.”
Assembly of First Nations Interim National Chief Joanna Bernard
“It’s a historic day for so many First Nations families who have waited so long for this. Although nothing can make up for the harm and pain decades of underfunding caused, compensation is essential to moving forward. I sincerely thank the Assembly of First Nations, Moushoom and Trout class action plaintiffs and the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society – amongst others – for their work. Their leadership has pushed Canada to do the right thing and is moving us forward on the path to reconciliation. We will continue working with them on a historic reform of our programs so that this never happens again.”
The Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Indigenous Services
“The approval of the compensation settlement agreement was made possible by the tireless advocacy of First Nations leaders. It brings us a step closer, as we work in partnership, towards meaningful and lasting reconciliation in this country. No child or family should ever have to face the harms suffered by so many First Nations children and families. Together, we will work to provide supports for healing as we work to reform the First Nations Child and Family Services program. This is a significant step forward. More to do.”
The Honourable Gary Anandasangaree
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations
For more information, media may contact:
Office of the Minister of Indigenous Services
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Gary Anandasangaree
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations
Assembly of First Nations
Indigenous Services Canada
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