About Jordan's Principle

The content of this page is being updated to align with the latest ruling from the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT).

As of September 30, 2017, 19,713 services and supports have been approved for First Nations children under Jordan's Principle. These include mental health supports, medical equipment, speech therapy, educational supports, and more.

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Definition and Key Principles

On May 26, 2017, the CHRT issued its latest ruling on Jordan's Principle, and the Government of Canada is taking steps to implement the CHRT's orders. As part of the ruling, the CHRT ordered that the Government of Canada post the following information:

"[2] In recognition of Jordan, Jordan's Principle provides that where a government service is available to all other children, but a jurisdictional dispute regarding services to a First Nations child arises between Canada, a province, a territory, or between government departments, the government department of first contact pays for the service and can seek reimbursement from the other government or department after the child has received the service. It is a child-first principle meant to prevent First Nations children from being denied essential public services or experiencing delays in receiving them. On December 12, 2007, the House of Commons unanimously passed a motion that the government should immediately adopt a child-first principle, based on Jordan's Principle, to resolve jurisdictional disputes involving the care of First Nations children."

"[135]…Canada's definition and application of Jordan's Principle shall be based on the following key principles:

  1. Jordan's Principle is a child-first principle that applies equally to all First Nations children, whether resident on or off reserve. It is not limited to First Nations children with disabilities, or those with discrete short-term issues creating critical needs for health and social supports or affecting their activities of daily living.
  2. Jordan's Principle addresses the needs of First Nations children by ensuring there are no gaps in government services to them. It can address, for example, but is not limited to, gaps in such services as mental health, special education, dental, physical therapy, speech therapy, medical equipment and physiotherapy.
  3. When a government service is available to all other children, the government department of first contact will pay for the service to a First Nations child, without engaging in case conferring, policy review, service navigation or any other similar administrative procedure before funding is provided. Once the service is provided, the government department of first contact can seek reimbursement from another department/government;
  4. When a government service is not necessarily available to all other children or is beyond the normative standard of care, the government department of first contact will still evaluate the individual needs of the child to determine if the requested service should be provided to ensure substantive equality in the provision of services to the child, to ensure culturally appropriate services to the child and/or to safeguard the best interests of the child. Where such services are to be provided, the government department of first contact will pay for the provision of the services to the First Nations child, without engaging in case conferring, policy review, service navigation or any other similar administrative procedure before funding is provided. Once the service is provided, the government department of first contact can seek reimbursement from another department/government.
  5. While Jordan's Principle can apply to jurisdictional disputes between governments (i.e., between federal, provincial or territorial governments) and to jurisdictional disputes between departments within the same government, a dispute amongst government departments or between governments is not a necessary requirement for the application of Jordan's Principle."

Contact us

If a First Nations child is not receiving the services and supports he or she needs, families are encouraged to contact us through:

Regional Focal Points for Jordan's Principle

Health Canada and INAC Focal Points are available in all regions across Canada to help families and children get started. Contact information for all Focal Points is listed below.

Health Canada

National Office

Atlantic 

Québec

Ontario

Manitoba

Saskatchewan

Alberta

Northern

British Columbia – First Nations Health Authority

INAC

National Office

Atlantic

Québec

Ontario

Manitoba

Saskatchewan 

Alberta

British Columbia

Yukon

For more information

Telephone: 1-800-567-9604
Email: InfoPubs@aadnc-aandc.gc.ca
Teletypewriter: 1-866-553-0554

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