Canada Reaches First Nations Child Welfare Compensation Agreement

By Adam Frisk, Producer, CTVNews.ca

Click here for updates on this story

HALIBURTON, Ont. (CTV Network) – The federal government has reached a deal to resolve a long-standing dispute over the First Nations child welfare system, CTV News confirmed on Saturday.

Ottawa and child welfare advocates have reached a compensation deal. The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) ordered the federal government to pay First Nations children and their parents or grandparents.

Further details of the deal will be announced on Tuesday.

The legal saga began in 2007 when the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society filed a complaint with CHRT alleging that the child welfare system was flawed and discriminated against First Nations children.

The CHRT ruled in 2016 that the federal government had underfunded child welfare systems on reserve. The federal government has been ordered to pay up to $ 40,000 to every First Nations child unnecessarily placed in foster care.

The government and Indigenous groups have been negotiating since November after the federal government filed a notice of appeal over the compensation order. The two sides initially set an end-2021 deadline to reach an agreement.

The decision to appeal was rejected by some indigenous leaders at the time, who called the decision unproductive towards the goal of reconciliation.

On December 13, the government announced that it would set aside $ 40 billion to both compensate First Nations people harmed by the child welfare system and reform the current system in place.

The Assembly of First Nations estimates that approximately 54,000 children and their families may be eligible for compensation.

With files from Caroline O’Neil of CTV News, Brooklyn Neustaeter and Creeson Agecoutay, and The Canadian Press

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