Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde filed a motion yesterday with the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) over the need for proper funding for First Nations children.

In January 2016, the Tribunal ruled that Canada is discriminating against First Nations children in its provision of First Nations child and family services. The motion filed yesterday calls for the Tribunal to issue another compliance order to the government and sets the stage for further orders and other actions should the government continue to ignore the Tribunal’s ruling.

“The Trudeau Government has repeatedly said that the most important relationship for Canada to rebuild is the one with Indigenous peoples. It’s time to move beyond words, end this impasse and implement the Tribunal’s decision and provide fairness and justice for First Nations children,” said AFN National Chief Bellegarde. “We will not wait idly while another generation is subjected to discriminatory funding. Our children cannot wait. We need immediate remedies and a long-term approach to ensure our children are safe and raised in healthy, caring environments.”

A number of parties and intervenors in the original human rights complaint filed motions on November 22, 2016 with the Tribunal, covering all aspects of the complaint in order to get action from Canada. The parties include the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, Chiefs of Ontario and Nishnawbe Aski Nation.

The filing comes in the wake of the unanimous passing of a motion in the House of Commons on November 1 calling for immediate investments of $155 million in new funding. This would help to address the shortfall in federal funding for the delivery of child welfare, and implementing the full definition of Jordan’s Principle, which calls for equitable access to government services available to other children in Canada.



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