NAN Statement on CHRT Rejection of Compensation Final Settlement Agreement
THUNDER BAY, ON: Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Deputy Grand Chief Bobby Narcisse has issued the following statement in response to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal’s rejection this week of a compensation settlement agreement reached in June between the Government of Canada, the Assembly of First Nations, and the plaintiffs in class actions brought against Canada for its discrimination against First Nations children through the on-reserve child welfare system:
“We had hoped to see this compensation roll out as soon as possible, and we are disappointed that the payouts will likely be delayed. However, we are encouraged by the prospect of the parties working together to improve the compensation settlement agreement by further expanding eligibility and increasing compensation amounts for recipients.
We acknowledge that there is frustration and opposition to this decision from the Tribunal, but it is important to remember that this decision does not mean that the $40 billion settlement package announced in January, including the $20 billion for compensation, is off the table.
With this decision, the Tribunal is calling on the parties to the proposed compensation settlement agreement to return to the table and amend their agreement to better reflect the Tribunal’s previous compensation orders as minimum standards for a settlement.
We encourage the parties to work together to satisfy the Tribunal’s previous orders on compensation, so we can continue our healing path forward. Many people have worked extremely hard to get this far, and we encourage everyone involved to remain respectful and focused on the interests of our people above everything else.”
This week’s ruling is the latest in a landmark case filed with the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal in 2007 by the First Nations Child & Family Caring Society of Canada and the Assembly of First Nations. It follows a 2016 ruling that the Government of Canada discriminated against First Nations children by under-funding on-reserve child welfare services and misinterpreting Jordan’s Principle.
NAN intervened in the Tribunal case in 2016 with a focus on addressing aspects of the discrimination specific to remote First Nation communities. NAN remains deeply engaged in the ongoing $20 billion settlement negotiations with respect to long-term reform of the federal First Nations Child and Family Services program and Jordan’s Principle.
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