AMC Honours Jordan River Anderson
October 22, 2020
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba
Treaty One Territory, Winnipeg, MB – The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, (AMC) today, is issuing this press release to commemorate what would have been Jordan River Anderson’s 21st birthday. Thanks to the legacy of Jordan River Anderson, a young boy from Norway House Cree Nation and his fight for equitable treatment, over one-hundred thousand First Nation and Inuit children have been provided with substantive equality through the Jordan’s Principle Child First Initiative.
AMC Grand Chief Arlen Dumas states, “Jordan’s Principle, and the First Nations’ advocacy that has sustained it, has resulted in a national legal initiative connecting children with long-overdue supports and services regardless of their residency, and ensuring ongoing support and connection to their communities and to their First Nations. The AMC is proud to have played an important part in the development of the Jordan’s Principle Child First Initiative, a legal requirement as ordered by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.”
Jordan River Anderson was born October 22, 1999 with multiple disabilities and stayed in the hospital from birth. At the age of two-years old, Jordan’s family was informed that he could move to Norway House Cree Nation to live in his Nation among friends and family, to a special home for his medical needs. However, due to jurisdictional disputes between the federal and provincial governments over who would pay for his medical care, Jordan was unable to move home. Jordan stayed in the hospital until he passed away at the age of five-years old.
“Today, would mark Jordan’s 21st birthday. The AMC would like to take this time to honour Jordan and his family for the sacrifices they endured due to the violation of their inherent Treaty and human rights. Though Jordan is not here with us today, his legacy lives on through Canada’s Jordan’s Principle Child First Initiative, benefitting over 165, 000 First Nations and Inuit children. The legal ruling will benefit First Nations children for generations to come,” concluded Grand Chief Arlen Dumas.
At the October 30-31, 2019 Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) Hearing, Canada’s witness, Dr. Valerie Gideon, Senior Assistant Deputy Minister of the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch at the Department of Indigenous Services Canada testified that over 165 000 Jordan’s Principle approved services have now been approved under Jordan’s Principle as ordered by the CHRT.
Dr. Gideon also testified that Jordan’s Principle is not a program, it is considered a legal rule by Canada. Jordan’s Principle is a legal requirement, not a program, and thus there will be no sun-setting of Jordan’s Principle. There cannot be any break in Canada’s response to the full implementation of Jordan’s Principle.