AMC statement on the agreement in principle for compensation and long-term reform of the First Nations Child and Family Services program

January 5, 2022

Treaty One Territory, Manitoba


Treaty One Territory, Manitoba – The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) issues this statement in response to the negotiations and the agreement in principle for compensation and long-term reform of the First Nations Child and Family Services program, which was announced yesterday in Ottawa by AFN Regional Chief Cindy Woodhouse, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services Canada, the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, the Honourable David Lametti, Attorney General and Justice Minister, and the Parties to the Agreement.   

AMC Grand Chief Arlen Dumas stated, “while we do not know the long-term impacts, if any, of this agreement in principle on the overall right to self-determination of First Nations in Manitoba, or how the current federal legislation, Bill C-92, will figure into the finalization of this agreement, the AMC is generally pleased that First Nation children and families will finally be compensated for enduring decades of racist federal CFS policies and funding formulas. These cruel and discriminatory policies resulted in direct harms to over 200,000 affected children within provincial and federal CFS systems and fueled intergenerational trauma to many more First Nations families and individuals over several decades.”  

This global agreement, intended to address the rulings of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal with regard to the federal government’s willful and reckless discrimination while encompassing other child welfare class action lawsuits, includes affected families and children prior to 2007, going as far back as 1991. The global settlement also includes compensation for the federal government’s lack of historic public services for First Nations and its narrow interpretation of what is now known as Jordan’s Principle. 

“The AMC recognizes all the parties to this agreement, including AFN Regional Chief Cindy Woodhouse and the Honourable Murray Sinclair, for their determined and tireless efforts under high pressure and tight timelines in bringing this agreement in principle to fruition to the satisfaction of First Nations, their legal representatives, and their representative organizations. The AMC member First Nations also recognize the efforts and vision of prior AFN National Chiefs who were instrumental in initiating the discussions which led to today’s announcement and a possible final agreement anticipated to be reached towards the end of this year” stated Grand Chief Dumas.  

The federal government signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the AMC in 2017 to begin First Nation driven solutions in Manitoba in the area of CFS. 

 “Canada needs to work with the rights holders on any long-term reform that will respect the sovereignty and self-determination of the First Nations in the Manitoba region. We look forward to a continued working relationship with Canada on that reform,” concluded Grand Chief Dumas. 

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