AMC welcomes ruling by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal
August 27, 2021
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba – The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) issues this statement to welcome yesterday’s ruling by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) with respect to capital costs for First Nations’ child welfare prevention services and services under Jordan’s Principle. In a letter-decision issued to the parties yesterday, which is the 20th non-compliance or procedural order against Canada since 2016, the CHRT panel ordered Canada to fund capital costs for construction of family friendly buildings to house First Nations child and family services as well as services under Jordan’s Principle.
Grand Chief Arlen Dumas stated, “The AMC welcomes the most recent ruling by the CHRT in favour of First Nations and our children. This ruling is the latest in a long line of human rights victories for First Nations children. I acknowledge the child welfare advocacy work of national and Manitoba First Nations leadership since they began advocating for Jordan River Anderson and his family in 2004, and against the discriminatory policies of the federal First Nations Child and Family Services program (FNCFS).”
This work led to the 2007 complaint filed with the CHRT on behalf of First Nations. The CHRT ruled in January 2016 – the Merit Decision – that the FNCFS program was inherently discriminatory and ordered Canada to comply with its rulings for compensation and revision of the program’s terms and conditions.
Grand Chief Dumas added, “Canada has fought against these orders by requesting judicial reviews of the ruling and the reasons for the rulings. This latest ruling is the 20th non-compliance and or procedural CHRT rulings against Canada since 2016, on the willful and reckless discrimination by Canada with respect to First Nations child and family services. On behalf of the AMC member First Nations, I acknowledge Cindy Blackstock and the work of the Child and Family Caring Society of Canada, for championing the rights of First Nations children in this country and for helping to make Jordan’s Principle the international human rights standard of care for Indigenous children that it has become.”
“The AMC supports the Caring Society in its calls for candidates in the upcoming general election to support this important CHRT decision. All candidates in this election must commit to compliance with the CHRT and must not appeal or seek a judicial review of this latest ruling. I urge the electorate – First Nations and all eligible voters – to ask their candidates how they will support the CHRT and advance reconciliation,” concluded Grand Chief Dumas.