The Secwépemc Child and Family Services Agency is pleased to hear news that the federal government has made official an agreement that sets aside $40 billion for Indigenous child welfare and to abide by a Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruling.
The CHRT ruling requires the government to pay up to $40,000 to Indigenous children and their families who were taken into foster care because of an underfunded on-reserve welfare system, retroactive to 2006. This compensation represents half of the $40 billion.
Parties have until March 31 to finalize the non-binding agreement.
Elements of the agreement include:
- Compensation to First Nations children on-reserve and in the Yukon who were removed from their homes between April 1, 1991, and March 31, 2022.
- Compensation to those affected by what the government called its “narrow definition” of Jordan’s Principle, used between Dec. 12, 2007, and Nov. 2, 2017.
- Compensation extended to children who did not receive an essential public service or faced delays in accessing such services between April 1, 1991, and Dec. 11, 2007.
- Providing support to youths aged out of care between the ages of 18 and 25, including those who are in that age bracket now.
“This historic agreement, while non-binding, is one step forward on the long road ahead in reforming the child welfare system and in ensuring substantive equity to all children and families impacted by this system,” says Yvonne Hare, SCFSA Executive Director. “Now we have to see if the federal government will make good on its promises.”
The SCFSA, as always, gives much appreciation to Cindy Blackstock, the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, and the Assembly of First Nations for their efforts in pressuring the federal government to honour its commitment to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruling.