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Indigenous child compensation deal falls short: Canadian tribunal | Indigenous Rights News


The human rights court said the plan did not meet all of the requirements for victims of Canada’s discriminatory child welfare policies.

The Court of Human Rights in Canada rejected a consent to compensate Indigenous children who face discrimination in the welfare system, given that the government plan does not meet all requirements and may exclude some affected individuals affected by this policy.

At the beginning of January, Canada announced that it had reached 40 billion Canadian dollars [$29bn] agreement to reform the First Nations Children and Family Services program and compensate Indigenous children who are left home, do not receive or experience delays in accessing services.

One last settlement, which Canada considers the largest in its history, was announced this summer.

But the Canadian Court of Human Rights (CHRT), in a decision dated October 24 but published on Tuesday, cited concerns that the deal could leave some children and carers underpaid. than.

It also said estates of deceased caregivers may not be compensated, while payment may be denied for children in care not funded by Ottawa.

Indigenous Services Minister Patty Hadju said the court’s rejection of the deal was “disappointing for many First Nations,” said Indigenous Services Minister Patty Hadju, who noted that the plan this plan has been “designed by First Nation people for First Nation people in a culturally specific way”.

However, the National First Child and Family Care Association, a group that has led a years-long battle to get Canada to compensate Indigenous children and their families for being unjustly forced injustice to the welfare system, welcomes the court’s decision.

It said CHRT asserts “Canada’s obligation to pay a minimum of $40,000 [Canadian dollars] human rights compensation” to all eligible victims of government child welfare policies.

“Significant underfunding for children and family services contributed to thousands of unnecessary family separations between 2006 and 2022,” the organization said in a statement. .

“We believe the Court’s decision is a step in the right direction towards reconciliation. Our expectation is that Canada immediately pays all the compensation and financial assistance that the victims have suffered so much and have waited so long for.”

Indigenous community advocates fought for Canada to comply with a 2016 CHRT ruling that found the federal government discriminated against Indigenous Peoples in the provision of child and family services.

The court said at the time that this discrimination pushed more Indigenous children into foster care, and the court ordered Canada to pay each affected child $40,000 CAD ( $23,114), the maximum allowed under the Canadian Human Rights Act.

According to census data, just over 52% of children in foster care in 2016 were Indigenous, while Indigenous children made up only 7.7% of the country’s total child population.

Canada has acknowledged that its systems are discriminatory but repeatedly resisted orders requiring it to pay restitution and fund reform.

A government spokesman said on Tuesday that it was not yet clear whether the negotiating parties would have to start from scratch or if they could modify the agreement in a way that would be acceptable to the court.

Indigenous leaders say the ruling will delay compensation for more than 300,000 children and their families.

But Tuesday’s decision does not stop the deal’s work on system reform, Hajdu told reporters in Ottawa, pledging to continue working with indigenous partners.

“My commitment to those partners is that we will go a long way with them to reach an agreement,” the minister said.

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