Ottawa will provide $20 billion to compensate children and families of victims of discrimination under the First Nations Child and Family Services (FNFSC) program and Jordan's Principle.
“After three decades of advocacy and months of negotiations, I am proud to announce, on behalf of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), that we have reached another historic milestone for our children and their families,” said by press release the AFN Regional Chief in Manitoba, Cindy Woodhouse.
“We have kept our children in our hearts and prayers throughout negotiations to reach an agreement that we believe fairly upholds the 2019 orders of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal and expands the scope of First Nations children and families eligible for compensation for experiencing discrimination under the federal First Nations Child and Family Services Program and the narrow application of Jordan's Principle,” said she added.
For its part, the federal government spoke of a “historic settlement agreement – the largest in Canadian history – which recognizes the harms suffered by First Nations children and their families”.
“Historical harm demands historical reparations. While no compensation can compensate for the pain and trauma that the Government of Canada's actions have caused to First Nations children and families, this final settlement agreement is an important step towards acknowledging the harm done and beginning the hard work of healing,” said Minister of Indigenous Services Patty Hajdu.
Although this final settlement agreement is subject to approval by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal and the Federal Court of Canada, the AFN expects compensation to begin flowing to First Nations next year. .
A motion to approve the settlement is expected to be heard by the Federal Court of Canada in September 2022. The agreement will include a distribution protocol, which will, among other things, specify who will be eligible for compensation and how to apply for it.