$40 Billion Federal agreement is not the end of the story for First Nations children

$40 Billion Federal agreement is not the end of the story for First Nations children

December 16, 2021

The Canadian Federal government has announced plans to set aside $40 billion in compensation for First Nations children and families harmed by the historic and current federal underfunding of child and family services and towards ending ongoing discrimination.

It is important to note that this commitment is not final – but rather is contingent on child and family service experts and advocates reaching an agreement with Canada in accordance with the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal orders. The Tribunal has ordered Canada to ensure that discrimination ends for First Nations children, to ensure that systemic and foundational mechanisms are in place to prevent such discrimination from occurring again and to compensate victims of this discrimination.

“We continue to negotiate with the Federal Government to ensure that the discrimination ends and that it never happens again,” said Mary Teegee, Executive Director of Child and Family Services at Carrier Sekani Family Services and the BC Board Representative on the First Nation Child and Family Caring Society. “We must ensure the full implementation of Jordan’s Principle and solidify reforms that end the injustices so that another generation of children aren’t harmed.”

While headlines continue to focus on financial commitments, it is important to note that this issue is not just about monetary compensation – it is about justice for Indigenous children.

“We are all ethically bound to ensure that every child in this country, regardless of race or circumstance, is treated fairly and equitably,” adds Teegee. These negotiations will continue until justice is achieved and all children have what they require to live up to their full potential. “In a first world country, demanding substantive equality shouldn’t be an issue that has to be fought in court.”

Child and family welfare issues are at the heart of the current state of emergency called by CSFS community Chiefs (with respect to opioids is having devastating impacts on youth today). It is time for this government both BC and Canada to act and not recreate past injustices.

Contact Person: 

CSFS Communications: 778-349-1676 (hours for response: 8:00am-7:00pm)


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Last modified: Wednesday 03-Apr-24 12:36:29 PDT