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London, Ontario October 26th, 2023 – For more than 15 years after the Assembly of First Nations and the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society launched a human-rights complaint a Federal Court Judge has verbally approved a landmark $23 billion settlement that will see Ottawa repay more than 300,000 First Nations families for the chronic underfunding of on-reserve child-welfare services.

Grand Chief Joel Abram says “Many First Nations families have had to deal with systemic racism, discrimination, and outright denial of support for education and health that held a deep impact on children and families.  Child Welfare should have been on the forefront of the minds of the government and upholding their promises rather than trying to delay and slip out of having to live up to their obligations.  If a First Nations child grew up with, or was born with, a severe disability there was no access for supports to help them or their families to be able to get the proper equipment or services for them to have a full and active life. The compensation approval at the Federal Court is a positive step towards reconciliation.  The next step is ending discriminatory practices in child welfare & Jordan’s Principle.”

The Federal Court approval of more than $23 billion settlement will hopefully be the beginning of the end of discriminatory funding of child welfare services.