OTTAWA, FIRST NATIONS AGREE TO LANDMARK INDIGENOUS CHILD WELFARE SETTLEMENT
Jan 04, 2022
By Bob Komsic
The federal government and Indigenous leaders have reached agreement on a historic $40-billion deal regarding compensation and reform.
The agreement, which still needs sign-off from the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal and Federal Court, sets aside $20-billion for compensation and the rest for long-term reform of the on-reserve child welfare system.
The parties have until the end of March to finalize the agreement – the largest of its kind in Canadian history.
Among those set to be compensated are First Nations children living on reserve and in the Yukon, who were taken from their homes between April 1991 and March 2022, along with their parents and caregivers.
It’s not clear yet when payments will be made or just how much each will receive, but Indigenous Services Minister Patty Hajdu gives an indication.
”Our expectation is that $40,000 is the floor and there may be circumstances where people are entitled to more,” Hajdu points out.
The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruled in 2016 that $40,000 should go to each First Nations child unnecessarily placed in foster care.
The Assembly of First Nations estimates that over 200,000 children and youth could be eligible.
Some parents and caregivers will also be eligible for compensation.