Revised settlement agreement of $23B reached to compensate First Nations children and families
April 5, 2023 — Ottawa, Traditional Algonquin Territory, Ontario — Indigenous Services Canada
A revised final settlement agreement now totalling more than $23 billion was reached by the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), Moushoom and Trout class actions plaintiffs, the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, and Canada to compensate those harmed by discriminatory underfunding of the First Nations Child and Family Services program and those impacted by the federal government's narrow definition of Jordan's Principle. We honour all the victims and survivors of Canada’s discrimination in child and family services and Jordan’s Principle.
The First Nations-led and designed agreement was collaboratively reached by all Parties. It is designed to fully meet the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT)’s compensation orders and the Moushoom and Trout Class Actions. The agreement is a meaningful step towards resolution and compensation. Comprehensive wellness supports for claimants are also included in the agreement.
Following the original settlement agreement, the revised final settlement agreement now includes a total of just over $23.34 billion – an increase of $3.3439 billion – to compensate First Nations children and families. In addition to those who were previously included, the agreement also includes:
- First Nations children who were placed in care that was not funded by Indigenous Services Canada
- caregivers of children who were impacted by the government's narrow definition of Jordan's Principle
- the estates of parents who would have been eligible as one of the classes for compensation
On Tuesday morning, First Nations across Canada came together to discuss and support the revised settlement agreement, and the AFN’s First Nations-in-Assembly unanimously approved the draft revised settlement agreement.
This is a major milestone in advancing compensation; however, a few key steps remain. Canada, the AFN and the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society will now return to the Tribunal to seek confirmation that the proposed revised settlement fully satisfies the Tribunal’s compensation orders. Once that is confirmed, the agreement will be brought to the Federal Court for approval. If approved, the process to implement the settlement will begin. To find out more about next steps in the compensation process and eligibility, visit www.fnchildcompensation.ca
Work continues in parallel with the ongoing negotiations to reform the First Nations Child and Family Services program and a long-term approach for Jordan’s Principle, to ensure this discrimination never happens again.
“More than 300,000 First Nations children and families have been waiting decades for recognition of the harms done to them through discriminatory practices of First Nations Child and Family Services and narrow application of Jordan’s Principle. This $23 billion final settlement agreement is a long overdue turning point for so many thousands of families. I’m grateful for all the individuals who contributed to this process, and to the Chiefs-in-Assembly for supporting this historic $23 billion compensation agreement. The Assembly of First Nations is fully committed to see the reforms needed to end discrimination and to support First Nations’ inherent jurisdiction over child and family services.”
Assembly of First Nations Manitoba Regional Chief
“This historic settlement will enable several hundred thousand First Nations children, young adults, and their families to access justice that they have long deserved. We acknowledge and honour the courage and resilience of representative plaintiffs and survivors, Xavier Moushoom, Jeremy and Jonavon Meawasige as well as their late mother, Maurina Beadle, and Zacheus Trout. The representative plaintiffs are proud to have shared their stories and empowered the hundreds of thousands of First Nations survivors of the on-reserve child welfare system and the discriminatory under-provision of other health and social essential services. We also acknowledge and honour the Assembly of First Nations and their representative plaintiffs. It is our sincere hope that this settlement will assist the many children and families who have suffered as a result of Canada’s discriminatory underfunding of the child welfare system, as well as its failure to respect the principles underlying Jordan’s Principle in their healing efforts.”
David Sterns (Sotos LLP), Robert Kugler (Kugler Kandestin LLP), Joelle Walker (Miller Titerle + co), class counsel in the Moushoom and Trout class actions.
“This revised settlement agreement is a testament to all parties who have stayed committed to seeing that First Nations children and families will be compensated for the harms they faced from discriminatory funding and programs. This historic First Nations-led process continues as we commit to our continued work of long-term reform of First Nations child and family services and Jordan’s Principle so children and families never face this discrimination again.”
The Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Indigenous Services
“The compensation announced today is a historic amount, matched only by the historic amount of harm that occurred to First Nations children. This settlement is an important part of Canada’s accountability towards First Nations children who were discriminated against or removed from their homes, and our commitment to a future where this never happens again. It is also vital to our ongoing work to make progress on the Truth and Reconciliation’s Calls to Action. The way in which this settlement was ultimately reached is a sign that things can be done differently, much like the work that will need to be done to make sure the child welfare system in Canada is fixed.”
The Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations
“Reconciliation means recognizing and holding ourselves accountable for the injustices and harms that have been imposed on First Nations. This agreement represents real work towards Canada’s commitment to First Nations children past, present and future, and reflects the sustained and collaborative work of all those involved to come to a lasting agreement.”
The Honourable David Lametti
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
For more information, media may contact:
Office of the Minister of Indigenous Services
Press Secretary and Communications Advisor
Office of the Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations
Office of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
Assembly of First Nations
180 Dundas Street West, Suite 1200
Toronto, Ontario M5G 1Z8
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Indigenous Services Canada
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