Ottawa’s plans to set aside $40 billion in compensation for First Nations children and families harmed underfunding of child and family services and towards ending ongoing discrimination is not the end of the issue, says Carrier Sekani Family Services.
The funding is contingent on child and family service experts and advocates reaching an agreement with Canada in accordance with the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal orders, the agency says in a news release. The Tribunal has ordered Canada to ensure that discrimination ends for First Nations children, to ensure that systemic and foundational mechanisms are in place to prevent such discrimination from occurring again and to compensate victims of this discrimination.
“We continue to negotiate with the federal government to ensure that the discrimination ends and that it never happens again,” said Mary Teegee, Executive Director of Child and Family Services at Carrier Sekani Family Services and the BC Board Representative on the First Nation Child and Family Caring Society. “We must ensure the full implementation of Jordan’s Principle and solidify reforms that end the injustices so that another generation of children aren’t harmed.”
She said it is important to note that this issue is not just about monetary compensation – it is about justice for Indigenous children.
“We are all ethically bound to ensure that every child in this country, regardless of race or circumstance, is treated fairly and equitably,” said Teegee. “These negotiations will continue until justice is achieved and all children have what they require to live up to their full potential. In a first world country, demanding substantive equality shouldn’t be an issue that has to be fought in court.”