- Partner News
- Media Releases
- Mainstream News
In 2007, the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) filed a human rights complaint, along with the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada, alleging that Canada was discriminating against First Nations children and families in the provision of child protection services and the implementation of Jordan’s Principle. In 2016, the Tribunal substantiated the complaint and ordered Canada to reform its First Nations Child and Family Services Program (FNCFS) program and properly implement Jordan’s Principle.
An essential element of AFN’s advocacy was the payment of fair and just compensation by Canada for its discrimination. The AFN‘s efforts have been to ensure compensation is paid to First Nations children, youth and their families.
In fact, compensation was made possible because of the AFN’s efforts. The AFN was the only party to the CHRT’s proceedings to request compensation to be paid directly to victims. AFN also asked that the maximum amount of $40,000 be paid.
However, the CHRT’s compensation orders had limitations. It only covered the period between 2006/7 and 2017/22. Secondly, not all individuals are entitled to compensation under the CHRT’s Orders. To be eligible to receive compensation under the CHRT process, one must have been removed from their homes, families, and community. They must meet all three parts of this criteria, which results in unfair application. For instance, a parent could have two children removed from their care. The child placed outside of their community would be entitled to compensation, but the child placed in their own community would not be eligible.
The AFN sought to correct this inherent unfairness in the CHRT compensation orders in the FSA. The AFN settlement agreement established a significant milestone in compensation. The agreement will provide compensation to all victims of Canada’s discrimination regardless of where they were placed. The AFN’s settlement also provides compensation to those individuals who were impacted by Canada’s discrimination from 1991 to 2022 – extending 15 years beyond the timeframe of the CHRT’s compensation orders.
On November 23, the AFN Executive Committee agreed to launch a judicial review of the CHRT’s letter decision to not approve the final settlement agreement. The AFN does not agree that the CHRT could not approve the final settlement agreement. The Record of Decision is included below.
The AFN’s judicial review is mainly focused on getting more children and families compensation. We do not agree with the limitations, or the inherent unfairness imposed by the CHRT. Our children deserve better. They deserve compensation regardless of where they were placed. It also secondarily The AFN Executive Committee is taking all steps to ensure compensation is paid to victims of Canada’s discrimination as soon as possible. Our important work toward on compensation continues at the negotiation table.
The AFN is hopeful that this matter can be settled without protracted legal proceedings at the CHRT or the Federal Court of Canada. The AFN is currently considering options to get compensation into the hands of First Nation individuals. This may include an advanced partial payment of compensation to the removed children as we continue negotiations. The AFN will continue to work with Moushoom counsel to get the best possible outcome for our children and families affected by Canada’s discrimination.
The AFN will continue to advocate for the approval of final settlement agreement that reflects First Nations’ priorities and is based on First Nations-led processes. Our current goal is to get to compensation to uncontested classes (i.e. removed children) as soon as possible. This may result in a staggered settlement process.
For additional information, please visit www.fnchildcompensation.ca and sign up to receive updates.
RECORDS OF DECISION
Executive Committee Meeting
November 23, 2022
1:00pm – 5:00pm (EDT)
MOTION 3: CHRT
MOVED: Regional Chief Joanna Bernard
SECONDED: Chief Darlene Bernard
Abstentions: Regional Chief Terry Teegee
Regional Chief Kluane Adamek
Regional Chief Bobby Cameron
Regional Chief Gerald Antoine