OTTAWA, Feb. 1, 2018 /CNW/ – The Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Indigenous Services, issued the following statement:
“Today, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal released a new ruling, and the Government of Canada has taken immediate action as part of its commitment to continue fully implementing all of the Tribunal’s orders.
Our government has been working closely with all parties, including the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, Assembly of First Nations, Chiefs of Ontario, Nishnawbe Aski Nation, Amnesty International, and the Canadian Human Rights Commission, to implement each of the orders.
Letters are being sent this morning to all 105 First Nations Child and Family Services agencies, informing them that the federal government will immediately begin to cover agencies’ actual costs for prevention, intake and investigation, legal fees, building repairs, among others, and will be reimbursing these costs retroactively to January 26, 2016.
In addition, we are working directly with Ontario First Nations leaders and agencies to implement the Ontario-specific orders of the ruling.
The federal government will ensure that it does not unnecessarily reallocate funds from other social programs, as ordered by the Tribunal. Additional investments for child and family services will be included in Budget 2018
Since November 2015, our government has made significant investments and worked with Indigenous leaders, communities and experts to reform First Nations child and family services. We remain committed to this reform, to recognize and advance Indigenous-led solutions, and support communities to draw down jurisdiction in this area.
At the Emergency Meeting on Indigenous Child and Family Services held January 25-26, 2018, the federal government put forward six points of action that it will undertake together with First Nation, Inuit, and Métis Nation partners to reform the child welfare system and reduce the number of Indigenous children in care.
The federal government will continue to work with our partners in fully implementing all orders from the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, to develop Indigenous-led solutions and ensure that Indigenous child and family services are truly child-centred, community-led, and prevention-focused.”
- In Budget 2016, the Government invested $635 million over five years to address the funding gap in First Nations Child and Family Services and support front-line service providers.
- Budget 2016 also included $382.5 million to immediately address health, social and education services.
- Since July 2016, more than 33,000 requests for services and supports were approved for First Nations children under Jordan’s Principle, representing more than a 99% approval rate.
- According to Census 2016 data, children between 0-14 represent 7.7% of the general population, yet make up 52.2% of children 0-14 in foster care in private homes.