Indigenous compensation: Ottawa announces two agreements of $ 20 billion each
Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau
Ottawa will provide $ 20 billion to compensate Indigenous children and families who have been victims of the disease. -financing the child protection system, as well as $ 20 billion to reform the children's services program in these communities.
The Government of Canada made the announcement today in a press conference providing an update on compensation negotiations and long-term reform of child and family services. intended for First Nations.
Negotiations between the First Nations Children and Family Caring Society, the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), lawyers for several related class actions and the federal government ended on the night of December 31 after nine weeks of sustained talks./p>
Two agreements of $ 20 billion each
The agreement provides for $ 20 billion in compensation for children who were removed from their homes between April 1, 1991 and 31 & nbsp; ; March & nbsp; 2022, as well as their parents. Children who were affected by the narrow definition of Jordan's Principle and those who were unable to receive essential public services may also receive compensation.
Each could receive at least $ 40,000, but details of the amount of compensation are not yet known. Lawyers hope to start distributing compensation as early as this year.
Another $ 20 billion must be made available over a five-year period to reform the child protection system on reserves in Native communities in the long term. This amount also includes funds for the support of young Aboriginal adults who have gone through the youth protection system.
“Some of these reforms, including preventive measures to keep children and families together, will be implemented as early as April 2022,” said the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, Marc Miller.
The agreement, however, has yet to be approved by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) and the Federal Court. Once final settlement agreements are reached and the necessary CHRT and Federal Court orders are issued, children and families harmed by discriminatory underfunding will be compensated and measures will be implemented to better address the concerns. needs of children, youth and families as well as to prevent this type of discrimination from happening again, says the Liberal government.
AFN Regional Chief Cindy Woodhouse estimates that more than 200,000 Indigenous children and families are affected by what she calls historic settlements. “Discriminatory underfunding of programs has led to the overrepresentation of Indigenous children in the child care system in every province and territory across the country,” she said.
< p>While she acknowledges that compensation “won't fix everything,” Woodhouse says it “will change the future” as she will lead the way in reforming the Indigenous child welfare system.
Ottawa had set aside $ 40B in its last economic update even before the deal was concluded.
Legal battle of 15 years
The legal battle began in 2007 when the First Nations Children and Family Caring Society as well as the Assembly of First Nations filed a human rights complaint. children on reserve discriminated against the services provided by provincial governments to children off reserve.
Following several court challenges and unsuccessful appeals by the former Conservative government, the complaint has was heard by the Canadian Human Rights Commission in 2013 and 2014. & nbsp;
In 2016, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal found that the federal government had discriminated against in & rsquo; for First Nations children. & nbsp; He then ordered Ottawa to pay $ 40,000 to each child who has been unnecessarily removed from their family since January 1, 2006, as well as to parents or grandparents. s-parents whose children have been removed. The amount represents the maximum compensation the court could order.
In the fall of 2019, the Liberal government appealed the ruling, asking a court to overturn it. The court refused in September 2021.