Jordan’s Principle

Jordan’s Principle was named after Jordan River Anderson

Jordan was born in 1999 with complex medical needs and was a member of Norway House Cree Nation in Manitoba.

Jordan was not able to leave the hospital until he was 2 years old, when doctors said he could move to a special home for his medical needs. However, the federal and provincial governments could not agree on who should pay for his home-based care.

Jordan stayed in the hospital until he passed at the age of 5.

In 2007, the House of Commons passed Jordan’s Principle in memory of Jordan.

It was a commitment that First Nations children would get the products, services, and supports they need, when they need them.

Today, Jordan’s Principle is a legal obligation, which means it has no end date, that will support First Nations children for generations to come. Jordan’s Principle makes sure all First Nations children living in Canada can access the products, services and supports they need, when they need them. Funding can help with a wide range of health, social and educational needs, including the unique needs that First Nations, Two-Spirit and LGBTQQIA children and youth and those with disabilities may have.

Initially, the federal government limited the access to this important service. 

Bear Witness Day is May 10
“Bear” Witness – Learn about and Celebrate Jordan’s Principle!


On December 5th, 2007, the government gives full support for Jordan’s Principle in the house of Commons.

In 2008, Federal and Provincial Governments begin to narrow the definition on Jordan’s Principle.

On January 26, 2016, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal made a landmark ruling , ordering the federal government to immediately stop applying a limited and discriminatory definition of Jordan’s Principle, and to immediately take measures to implement the full meaning and scope of the principle. 

On May 26, 2017, the Tribunal found that the Government of Canada has continued “its pattern of conduct and narrow focus with respect to Jordan’s Principle,” resulting in unnecessary and unlawful bureaucratic delays, gaps and denial of essential public services to First Nations children.

On July 17, 2020, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal affirmed that determination of First Nations citizenship falls uniquely within the purview of First Nations. Additionally, the Tribunal has affirmed that the principle of “best interests of child” needs to be understood from an Indigenous lens.  The parties involved (NAN included) presented eligibility criteria to the Tribunal on Oct. 19, 2020.

On October 21st, 2020, NAN Chiefs-in-Assembly Resolution 20/18 passed, for the ‘Support for Full and Meaningful Implementation of Jordan’s Principle’ to provide assistance and Advocacy, to provide information on Jordan’s Principle in the NAN communities and to represent the NAN communities at the regional, provincial and federal Jordan’s Principle tables.


On Nov. 25, 2020, the CHRT rules that cases meeting any one of the four criteria are eligible for consideration under Jordan’s Principle. Those criteria are the following:

  1. The child is registered or eligible to be registered under the Indian Act, as amended from time to time;
  2. The child has one parent/guardian who is registered or eligible to be registered under the Indian Act;
  3. The child is recognized by their Nation for the purposes of Jordan’s Principle; or
  4. The child is ordinarily resident on reserve. 

How to Apply

CALL to submit a request for services through Jordan’s Principle, 1-855-JP-CHILD (1-855-572-4453), open 24hrs a day, 7 days a week.

PLAN for a group or program within your community

Send application to


NEED HELP? If you have any difficulties accessing services through Jordan’s Principle, please contact your Tribal Council Coordinator or Community Worker for assistance, NAN’s Jordan’s Principle Coordinator or the 24-hour Jordan’s Principle line (above).

What is needed for the request:

Registration number for the child or parent under the Indian Act (if available).

The product, service or support needed

How often the product, service or support will be needed (one time, many times, or ongoing)

Estimated costs (if known)

Copies of related prescriptions, referrals from a health, social or education professional (if you have them), medical, educational, social assessments identifying the need for the product, service, or support.

If the request has been submitted in the past, the name of the provincial or federal program or service where the request was submitted, and copies of documents submitted (if available).

How Substantive Equality applies, the unique needs and circumstances, such as cultural, social, economic, and historical disadvantage that apply to the child.

What is Substantive Equality?

Substantive equality means giving extra help when it is needed, so that First Nations children have an equal chance to thrive as other children in Canada. 

  • That First Nations children can stay with their families and communities, wherever possible.
  • That needs resulting from historical disadvantages are addressed
  • That First Nations children do not face disadvantage due to race, nationality, or ethnicity
  • Culturally appropriate services
  • Community & family can serve, protect and nurture its children in ways that honour resilience, healing and self-determination
  • Access to services regardless of geographical context

First Nations Child & Family Caring Society of Canada’s Spirit Bear Plan to End Inequalities in Public Services

Canada – immediately comply with all CHRT rulings

Parliament – cost out shortfalls in all public services provided to First Nations and propose solutions

Government – consult with First Nations to create a community-based plan to end all inequalities in a short period of time

Gov’t departments – identify and end discriminatory ideologies, policies, and practices

Public servants – receive mandatory training

Contact Information

NAN Communities

Contact your Band office to see if your community has a worker.  If not, connect with an affiliated agency below that has staff dedicated to Jordan’s Principle.

Tribal Councils

Independent First Nations Alliance (IFNA)
June Trout, Jordan’s Principle Service Coordinator

Keewaytinook Okimakanak (KO)
Tiffany Gervasi, Jordan’s Principle Coordinator
807-737-1381, ext 5755

Mushkegowuk Council
Jamie Alisappi, Jordan’s Principle Coordinator
705-658-4222 Ext. 119

Independent First Nation (IFNC)
Jordans Principal Navigators
Crystal Nayanookeesic
Leeann Shimoda
Joss Ann Russell-Taylor
Jessica Goodman

Child & Family Services

Kunuwanimano C&FS (serving their communities)
Child First Workers

Health Authorities

Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority (SLHNFA)
Complex Care Case Coordinators

Jeff Rwaana

Karly Janisse

Trisha Cordes


NAN has a Jordan’s Principle Coordinator and a Jordan’s Principle Liaison available for information, training and advocacy. You can contact this team by emailing:

NAN has a contact list, if your community or organization has a Jordan’s Principle staff member, please connect with either Terry or Chelsea at NAN so this list can be updated.

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