Canada and the Parties will work together to reach a global resolution on compensation to First Nations children and long-term reform

Statement

Ottawa, Ontario (October 29, 2021) – the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services; the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations; and the Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, issued the following statement today:

"We have been unequivocal from the start: we will compensate those harmed by child and family services polices in order to mend past wrongs and lay the foundation for a more equitable and stronger future for First Nations children, their families and communities.

Today, the Government of Canada and the Parties, the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society and Assembly of First Nations, are announcing that we have agreed to sit down immediately and work towards reaching a global resolution by December 2021 on outstanding issues that have been the subject of litigation. This will include:

  • providing fair, equitable compensation to First Nations children on-reserve and in the Yukon who were removed from their homes by child and family services agencies, as well as those who were impacted by the government's narrow definition of Jordan's Principle,
  • achieving long-term reform of the First Nations Child and Family Service program, and 
  • funding for the purchase and/or construction of capital assets that support the delivery of child and family services on-reserve and Jordan's Principle.

As we work to ensure that those who have been harmed are fairly compensated, we are also committing to significant investments to address long-term reform of the First Nations Child and Family Services and will work with the parties to put in place an approach that best serves these children. We will also continue this work through the ongoing implementation of An Act Respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis Children, Youth and Families, which affirms and recognizes their jurisdiction over child and family services.

In order to allow the Parties time to have meaningful discussions and to reach a lasting agreement, Canada, the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society and Assembly of First Nations have agreed to pause litigation on the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal decision. Providing the space to reach agreement on compensation and funding for future reforms will help us reach the best outcome. This means that while Canada filed what is known as a protective appeal of the Federal Court decision of September 29, 2021, the appeal will be on hold and the focus will be squarely on reaching an agreement outside of court and at the table.

As part of our collective responsibility to end discrimination against Indigenous Peoples, we must redress past harms. We will continue to work with our provincial and territorial partners, and all Canadians, to stand together to fight racism at every level, in every part of our society.

Indigenous children and youth are at the centre of what we do; our commitment to their health and well-being is an essential part of our journey towards reconciliation.

Our investments represent our significant commitment to make amends for past actions, but also to invest in a fairer, healthier future. Our country will be stronger for it." 

Contacts

For more information, media may contact:

Adrienne Vaupshas
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Indigenous Services 
adrienne.vaupshas@canada.ca

Media Relations
Indigenous Services Canada
819-953-1160
SAC.media.ISC@canada.ca 

Ani Dergalstanian 
Press Secretary and Communications Advisor
Office of the Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations
819-997-0002

Media Relations
Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada
819-934-2302
RCAANC.media.CIRNAC@canada.ca

Chantalle Aubertin
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
(613) 992-6568
Chantalle.Aubertin@justice.gc.ca

Media Relations
Department of Justice Canada
613-957-4207
media@justice.gc.ca

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