NAN Statement on Long-term Reform of First Nations Child and Family Services

THUNDER BAY, ON: Nishnawbe Aski Nation Deputy Grand Chief Bobby Narcisse has issued the following statement regarding ongoing negotiations with the Government of Canada on compensation and long-term reform of First Nations child and family services and Jordan’s Principle:

“It is significant that the federal government is finally acknowledging how for years it has failed our youth and our families. Nothing can undo the harm that has been done, but we have a historic opportunity before us to make long-term reform and put our children and families on the healing path forward.

Dating back to 2016, when the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal issued its decisions finding discrimination, NAN leadership recognized that no party was involved in the proceedings that spoke specifically for the interests of remote First Nations communities. As a result, NAN sought and obtained standing before the Tribunal five years ago and has been advocating for equity to recognize the unique challenges faced by remote communities across the country. NAN has not forgotten this mandate, and we are encouraged by the gains we are making in these settlement discussions.

We acknowledge that our federal Treaty partner has committed significant funding for First Nations child welfare in its fall economic update. We are optimistic that ongoing negotiations will lead to a lasting agreement that will finally end the discrimination experienced by Indigenous children in the child welfare system. We will continue these negotiations through our own process to address issues specific to our First Nations communities.”

An agreement was reached by the Parties in October to pause court proceedings and work towards reaching a global resolution on outstanding issues that have been the subject of litigation. This includes:

  • providing fair, equitable compensation to First Nations children on-reserve and in the Yukon who were removed from their homes by child and family services agencies, as well as those who were impacted by the government’s narrow definition of Jordan’s Principle;
  • achieving long-term reform of the First Nations Child and Family Service program; and
  • funding for the purchase and/or construction of capital assets that support the delivery of child and family services on-reserve and Jordan’s Principle.

For more information please contact:
Michael Heintzman,
Director of Communications
Cell: (807) 621-2790
mheintzman@nan.ca