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$40B Federal Commitment

Agreements-in-Principle (AIP) have been reached after lengthy discussions between Canada and the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society (the Caring Society), the Chiefs of Ontario (COO), the Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN), and counsel for the Moushoom and Trout class actions regarding discriminatory funding practices of on-reserve Indigenous child welfare. An AIP is typically the second stage of negotiations, laying the groundwork for a future legally-bound contract as it contains major elements of the final agreement. AIP is not legally enforceable.

This is considered a landmark agreement after a 15-year legal battle. The first human rights complaint filed by the Caring Society in February 2007, a precedent-setting win with the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) in January 2016 which ruled that the federal government underfunded the welfare system and in 2019 ordered Ottawa pay $40,000 to each child and their primary guardian who were part of that system and a class-action lawsuit filed by the AFN in 2020.

What we know

There are two parts to the settlement. The first part applies to compensation for children negatively impacted by the child welfare system. The federal government has committed to $20B. The final details still need to be worked out but here is what we know so far:

EligibilityFirst Nations children who lived on-reserve and in the Yukon who were removed from their homes by child and family services between Apr 1, 1991 and Mar 31, 2022   This also includes compensation for those who were impacted by the government’s narrow definition of Jordan’s Principle between Dec 12, 2007 and Nov 2, 2017   As well as children who did not receive or were delayed receiving an essential public service or product between Apr 1, 1991 and Dec 11, 2007
TimelineFinal Agreement is expected to be approved in late 2022.
ConsiderationsThe Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) wants the federal government to work with First Nations law firms and companies to process compensation.  Payments will be distributed to the child’s primary guardian and held in trust.

Resources

First Nations Caring Society

  • Timeline and information sheet on the Agreement in Principle of the long-term reform of the First Nations Child and Family Services (FNCFS) Program and Jordan’s Principle.

Assembly of First Nations

  • AFN Bulletin: Agreements-in-Principle on Compensation and Long-Term Reform related to Child and Family Services and Jordan’s Principle

Government of Canada-Indigenous Services Canada (ISC)

  • News Release: Agreements-in-Principle reached on compensation and long-term reform of First Nations child and family services and Jordan’s Principle.

Chiefs of Ontario

APTN National News

CTV News

CBC News