AMC comments on another Canadian Human Rights Tribunal Order on Jordan’s Principle
November 26, 2020
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba
Treaty One Territory, Winnipeg, Manitoba – The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs’ (AMC) Grand Chief Arlen Dumas commends the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, other First Nations parties and the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) for their decision on the approach to the process to determine which children are eligible for consideration to receive services under Jordan’s Principle.
In its order released yesterday, the CHRT was very clear that the process identified is solely in relation to Jordan’s Principle and continues to respect the right of First Nations right to determine their own citizens.
AMC Grand Chief Arlen Dumas stated, “While it is unfortunate that Canada must continue to be corrected by the CHRT, I am very pleased with the ongoing dedication of Cindy Blackstock and the First Nations Caring Society to prevent Canada from discriminating against First Nations children, and ensuring commitment to the CHRT’s decisions and rulings.”
In this ruling, the CHRT endorsed the jointly submitted proposed eligibility process for Jordan’s Principle. Eligibility for consideration under Jordan’s Principle are if a case meets any one of following four criteria if the child: 1. Is registered or eligible to be registered under the Indian Act; 2. has one parent / guardian who is registered or eligible to be registered under the Indian Act; 3. is recognized by their Nation for the purposes of Jordan’s Principle; or 4. is ordinarily resident on reserve. The order details specific processes to facilitate the determination of eligibility in a timely manner.
Grand Chief Dumas continued, “This process respects First Nations’ rights to self-determination and self-government and local First Nations processes as they relate to their citizenship. This process will alleviate some issues of concern the AMC has heard regarding eligibility for accessing and receiving services through Jordan’s Principle.”
The ruling also ordered Canada to fund First Nations and First Nations organizations that include additional human resources costs specifically in association with confirming recognition of First Nations children for the purpose of Jordan’s Principle; policy development and updating; internal First Nation governance / determination meetings; communications; and coordination processes to bring multiple community sectors together.
Grand Chief Dumas concluded, “Because of the important and direct relationship between citizenship and governance, I am pleased the CHRT ordered Canada to provide funding directly to First Nations to cover expenses accumulated in the process of recognizing their citizens who claim Jordan’s Principle services. Too often funding for First Nations to enhance their capacity to respond to changes in processes and policies is minimal or nonexistent. This sets a good precedent for Canada to follow in other areas when considering changing their approach to programs and services for First Nations, especially as we seek in getting the existing Indigenous Service Canada bureaucracy out of the way to have First Nations determine how they will operate their local programs and services that is consistent with their right to self-determination.”