Nishnawbe Aski Nation

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July 5, 2016


THUNDER BAY, ON (July 5, 2016): Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Deputy Grand Chief Derek Fox welcomes today’s announcement that the Government of Canada has committed up to $382 million to support the implementation of Jordan’s Principle, a child-first principle aimed at resolving jurisdictional disputes over the care of First Nations children.

“Many First Nation children, especially in our remote communities, experience unnecessary delays accessing care and services due to intergovernmental and jurisdictional disputes. Jordan’s Principle is designed to eliminate this, and we are pleased the federal government has committed funding towards its implementation,” said Deputy Grand Chief Derek Fox, who holds the health portfolio. “We now look to the Government of Ontario to join this process and come to the table with their federal counterparts to ensure that children in all NAN First Nations have access to the same level of care and services as all children across Ontario and Canada.”

Earlier this year, a delegation of NAN leaders and health care officials proposed to the Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs that NAN should lead a collaborative process with Health Canada and the Government of Ontario that will redefine Jordan’s Principle to form a basis from which the federal government can create legislation to compel other jurisdictions to a uniform implementation process.

Jordan’s Principle is a child-first principle that provides that the government, ministry or department of ‘first contact’ must pay for services for a First Nations child without delay or disruption in the event of a jurisdictional dispute between two government parties. It is named for four-year-old Jordan River Anderson, an Anishnawbe child from northern Manitoba, who died in 2003 while government agencies argued over payment of expenses related to his care.

Full implementation of Jordan’s Principle by all levels of government is one of the Calls to Action in the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

For more information please contact: Michael Heintzman, Director of Communications – Nishnawbe Aski Nation (807) 625-4965 or cell (807) 621-2790 or by email

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