Human Rights Tribunal ruling a step towards justice for First Nations children and families: Anishinabek Nation

Grand Council Chief Glen Hare

ANISHINABEK NATION – Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Glen Hare says that the recent Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) ruling ordering the federal government to pay compensation to First Nation children, youth and families is a step forward towards justice for Anishinabek children and their families. 

“Our youth are the future – they need to be supported within their communities and their families. In this era of truth and reconciliation, Canada must step forward and fulfill their obligation to the many First Nation children and families who suffered and continue to suffer because of colonization, racism and discrimination,” states Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Glen Hare in a press release. “Equal access to the funding needed for essential prevention services, like counselling and housing, was not provided to prevent the unnecessary removal of our children from their homes or to help our families before their children were taken. While in out-of-home care, some of our children lost their families forever and some have even lost their lives. Nothing can undo this pain and suffering experienced by our children and families.” 

The recent CHRT ruling is the latest ruling in a historic human rights case filed in 2007 by the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada and the Assembly of First Nations. In 2016, the CHRT found the federal government willfully and recklessly discriminating against First Nations through the inequitable funding of child and family services and through failure to fully implement Jordan’s Principle. Canada was immediately ordered to cease its discriminatory conduct. 

“Every First Nation child who was needlessly taken into out-of-home care receiving the maximum compensation amount allowed under the Canadian Human Rights Act is a step towards justice for our children and families,” Grand Council Chief Glen Hare adds. 

The CHRT has ordered Canada to provide $40,000 in compensation to the victims of its discriminatory practices. The ruling applies to all First Nation children who were unnecessarily placed into care from January 1, 2006, to a date that is to be determined by the CHRT. Parents or guardians of children who were unnecessarily placed into out-of-home care may also be eligible for compensation. A culturally informed, child-focused process is to be put into place to determine eligibility and individual compensation.