Nishnawbe Aski Nation

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Canadian Human Rights Tribunal Compliance Hearings

Canadian Human Rights Tribunal Compliance Hearings

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 compliance hearing was held March 22-24, 2017, where INAC’s compliance was examined for a decision by the Tribunal.

Tribunal Supports NAN’s Submissions for Immediate Relief

On March 29, 2017, a ruling by the Tribunal supported NAN’s submissions for immediate relief, and congratulating NAN’s agreements with the Government of Canada on child welfare reform as “carriers of hope”. The decision acknowledged the pain caused by the loss of children to suicide and supported NAN’s agreements with Indigenous Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) on two immediate relief orders concerning:

  1. a Remoteness Quotient Table; and
  2. a Choose Life working group.

Health Canada has committed to establish a Choose Life Working Group with NAN aimed at creating a concrete, simplified process for communities to apply for Jordan’s Principle funding. NAN has proposed to report back to the Tribunal on this working group by September 6, 2017. In granting NAN’s request, the Tribunal stated that they are “really encouraged by the Choose Life Working Group initiative.”

The Tribunal also stated that it is “pleased” by the March 10, 2017 agreement between NAN and INAC to jointly develop and implement a remoteness quotient that would apply to NAN First Nations.

Read more here

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 submissions formed the basis of NAN’s oral arguments delivered March 22-24, 2017 before the Tribunal. At this hearing, NAN argued 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.

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.

Read more here

I am a witness campaign

The First Nations Chief and Family Caring Society of Canada ( 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 ( in February 2007.

Related Documents

CHRT Ruling - NAN Consent Orders - March 29, 2017
NAN Reply Factum - March 17, 2017
NAN Book of Authorities - February 28, 2017
NAN Immediate Relief Factum - February 28, 2017
NAN Immediate Relief Book of Authorities - February 28, 2017