Canadian Human Rights Tribunal Compliance Hearing
In January 2016, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal issued a landmark decision which found that Indigenous and Northern Affairs (INAC) is racially discriminating against 163,000 First Nations children across Canada by not providing enough funding for child and family services on reserves.
INAC has repeatedly failed to comply with the Tribunal’s orders and requests for information to address neglect of Indigenous children. As a result, a hearing is being held in March 2017, where INAC’s compliance will be examined for a decision by the Tribunal.
The compliance hearing will be held March 22-24, 2017 at the offices of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, 160 Elgin Street, 11th floor, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 1J4.
All members of the public are welcome to attend. The hearings will also be livestreamed.
Click Here to watch online beginning 9 a.m. (EST) Wednesday March 22.
I am a witness campaign
The First Nations Chief and Family Caring Society of Canada (www.fncaringsociety.com) has established the I am a witness campaign with a comprehensive timeline with the legal submissions by all parties in the case along with relevant reports from credible independent sources like the Auditor General of Canada.
Click Here to Learn More
Learn More about this Case
The complaint was filed jointly by the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society and the Assembly of First Nations (www.afn.ca) in February 2007.
Landmark Ruling: Racial Discrimination against First Nations
In its landmark ruling released on January 26, 2016, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal found that the Canadian government is racially discriminating against 163,000 First Nations children and their families by providing flawed and inequitable child welfare services and failing to implement Jordan's Principle to ensure equitable access to government services available to other children.
Read the Decision Here
NAN Granted Standing in CHRT Proceedings
In March 2016, Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) filed a motion seeking leave to intervene in the proceedings as an interested party. In May 2016, the Tribunal granted NAN ‘interested party status’.
Remoteness & the Delivery of Child & Family Services in First Nations
On September 15, 2016, the Tribunal recognized the importance of factoring in remoteness in the delivery of child and family services in First Nation communities within NAN territory and across Canada.
The Tribunal accepted NAN’s vision of a “remoteness quotient” and the application of a northern remoteness factor in the immediate term - not only in Ontario, but throughout Canada. In particular, the Tribunal stated that it:
“agrees with the NAN that a remoteness quotient needs to be developed as part of medium to long term relief and that data needs to be appropriately collected.”
The Tribunal also stated that it:
“agrees with the NAN that while a robust, empirically-based remoteness quotient is being developed, adjustments reflecting northern remoteness realities can be undertaken in the immediate term.”
Additionally, the Tribunal recognized the Assembly of First Nations’ (AFN) submission that remoteness is a national issue, stating that the Tribunal:
“also agrees with the AFN that this should not only apply to Ontario but, rather, the application of remoteness factors ought to be considered across Canada.”
NAN’s Submissions to the CHRT
On February 28, 2017, NAN filed legal arguments for Indigenous Child Welfare Equity with the Tribunal as part of the ongoing proceedings. These latest submissions will form the basis of NAN’s oral arguments to be delivered in the March 22-24, 2017 hearing before the Tribunal.
At this hearing, NAN will argue that the Tribunal must direct INAC to adopt various immediate relief measures to remedy the discriminatory practices that the Tribunal has found to exist in the delivery of child welfare services on reserves, especially in remote and isolated First Nations communities.