Just over 2 years ago the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) found that the Government of Canada is racially discriminating against First Nations children and their families. On February 1, 2018, after a fourth non-compliance order from the CHRT, the Canadian government finally agreed to stop discriminating against First Nations children, youth, and families. In response to the CHRT ruling, Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott announced immediate measures to cover key costs for First Nation Child and Family Service agencies. Minister Philpott’s government has also promised to implement the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). If this commitment to TRC and the Minister’s promises on February 1 are to be more than words, it is essential that any new actions make needed change for First Nations kids in the Child Welfare system and are fully compliant with the orders of the CHRT.
For 150 years, Canada has provided lower quality and improperly funded public services (such as education, housing, child welfare, and health care) to First Nations children and youth. That’s not okay. It shouldn’t take legal action and five CHRT rulings for First Nations children and youth to be treated with justice and equity.
The Minister’s announcements on February 1 require accountable and meaningful action. We need to keep the pressure on to make sure that the Government of Canada fulfills its legal obligations, ends its discriminatory practices, and ensures that the quality of the services for First Nations children are equitable and culturally appropriate.
Stand with Shannen Koostachin, who dreamed of safe and comfy schools and culturally based education for all First Nations children. Stand with Jordan River Anderson, who died while federal and provincial governments fought over who would pay his medical bills. His legacy inspired Jordan's Principle, which ensures First Nations children receive the services they need when they need them.
We’re proud to partner with the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada to recognize Have a Heart Day*.
We stand with Jordan. We stand with Shannen. We stand with First Nations children and youth.
Join us and advocate for justice equity for First Nations children and youth today.
*For more information on Have a Heart Day, click here.
Image credit: First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada