Phase II of the Remoteness Quotient Final Report

In January 2016, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) found Canada guilty of discriminating against First Nations children, youth, and families in its funding and control of child and family services provided on reserve and in the Yukon.  The CHRT identified that Canada’s failure to properly account for remoteness in its funding formulas exacerbates the discrimination experienced by remote First Nation communities.

Nishnawbe Aski Nation joined the CHRT case in 2016, bringing attention to the unique challenges related to remoteness and how best to address them.  Remote communities within Nishnawbe Aski Nation territory, and across the country, continue to face structural discrimination and a lack of access to services.

The Phase II of the Remoteness Quotient (RQ) Final Report was prepared by Barnes Management Group on behalf of NAN and filed with the CHRT in 2019.  This groundbreaking work represents an important step toward addressing the discrimination and unique challenges faced by remote First Nations communities due to their remoteness.  A key question examined in the report is to understand how much funding is needed to provide the same level of child and family services in remote communities as is provided in non-remote communities.  Such a calculation must be made in strong partnership with the people and communities experiencing remoteness.

The Phase II RQ Report provides an evidence-based method of indexing costs to account for remoteness that can be applied to funding for child and family services to provide the same level of service in remote communities as found in non-remote communities.  It also highlights the importance of how community factors, such as housing, food security, and employment affect the well-being of children and families and the need for services.

By providing strong evidence of the impact of remoteness, the Phase II RQ Report has contributed to quantitative measures of remoteness, which could inform funding and address the discrimination faced by remote First Nation communities.

Information in the Phase II RQ Report:

  • provides strong evidence that remoteness affects costs of providing child welfare services, requiring significant increases in funding relative to non-remote communities;
  • highlights how the challenges faced by First Nations are magnified in remote areas, and the level of funding provided by governments has been and continues to be disproportionately low relative to the needs of these communities;
  • shows how NAN communities continue to face systemic barriers that contribute to the increased need for child welfare services in NAN communities compared to non-remote First Nation communities; and
  • indicates that further research is needed to better understand the additional costs associated with remoteness.

For further information, contact Joanne MacMillan, Final Settlement Agreement Manager, or 250.858.7230.

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