London, Ontario January 5th, 2022 – Indigenous Services Minister Patty Hajdu and Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Marc Miller announced a historic settlement of $40 billion dollars for First Nation youth who have been discriminated against by Canada. This amount is the result of negotiations of a Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) case launched over a decade ago which sought reform of the Child Welfare System and the discrimination from the Federal First Nations Child and Family Services (FNCFS).
Grand Chief Joel Abram has been a participant in working towards this settlement and states “This Agreement-in-Principle while not perfect represents an opportunity for First Nations to implement their inherent jurisdiction over child welfare and put an end to discrimination and over representation. Now the work begins to reach a final agreement.”
Deputy Grand Chief Stacia Loft says “The impact on Indigenous Children by this faulty system has affected many generations and even today, many still feel pain. Compensation will help but there will forever be a scar on numerous families. The next steps will be hard, and the climb will be steep but, we’ve come a long way and have covered a lot of ground.”
AFN stated that approximately 200,000 Indigenous children and youth were taken from their homes from the result of a system that acted upon discrimination and racism. The settlement is a big win towards compensation and recognition of the suffering experienced by some Indigenous Peoples and to ensure substantive equality for everyone in Canada. The agreement-in-principle will give $20 billion in compensation to those harmed by Canada’s discriminatory practices and a further $20 billion to reform the child welfare system and to implement Jordan’s Principle.
The deadline for finalizing the agreement is March 31, 2022. Priorities that will need to be finalized includes how eligibility for compensation will be determined, how funds will be distributed, and to ensure the process is an Indigenous-led effort. The settlement compensation will be handled by David Sterns and associates at Sotos Class Action.