We call upon all levels of government to fully implement Jordan’s Principle.
Indigenous Watchdog Status Update
|Current Status||Oct. 4, 2021||STALLED|
|Previous Status||Sept. 5, 2021||STALLED|
On Sept. 29, 2021 (Toronto Star) the Federal Court dismissed Ottawa’s appeals of two human rights tribunal rulings concerning First Nations child welfare compensation and protection. The court also upheld a second decision about to whom Jordan’s Principle applies, after the tribunal ruled that certain non-status children should be covered under the policy. The government is determining their next steps. Until then this C2A remains stalled given the following reasoning.
Three reasons: On Sept. 2, 2021 the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada petitioned the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal that Canada was incompliant with a previous order to fund First Nations Child and Family Services Agencies and Jordan’s Principle. The Chiefs of Ontario brought a separate, but similar motion, that Canada was not adequately funding Band Representative Services. This followed on the government of Canada’s decision to proceed with the court case challenging the CHRT decision even after the House of Commons voted 271 to 0 (Liberals for the most part abstained) on June, 7, 2021 to drop the court case in light of the discovery of unmarked graves of Indigenous children at multiple locations across Canada. On June 14, 2021 the Federal Court began hearing Government of Canada’s arguments for overturning the CHRT decision awarding $40,000 in compensation for Indigenous children apprehended by child welfare authorities as well as the expansion of services covered by Jordans Principle.
Second, on Sept 4, 2020 the federal government had agreed to certify the claims put forward by the Assembly of First Nations and the Moushoom class counsel in their class-action lawsuit from Feb. 12, 2020 and enter into mediation to reach a negotiated settlement for damages and justice. However, after the federal government had certified its claim, a significant caveat appeared that “conditioned its consent” for the Class Action lawsuit and would only certify the claims if the Jordan’s Principle victims from between 1991 and 2007 were removed. (APTN – June 4, 2021)
On March 12, 2021 the federal government filed its written submissions to the federal court on its application for judicial reviews on the issues of compensation and the definition of a First Nation’s child for the purposes of Jordan’s Principle eligibility.
Third, on Sept. 16, 2020, the Manitoba government is seeking to clarify the legal obligations of the federal and provincial governments around Jordan’s Principle through a judicial review of a Manitoba Human Rights Commission decision to award damages to a First Nations family for systemic racism and denial of access to health care
The federal government is fighting the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) decision from Sept. 6, 2019 to award $2B in damages to First Nations children apprehended by Child Welfare authorities on or after Jan. 1, 2006 as well as those denied essential services as per Jordan’s Principle. The government has been fighting the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) and the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada since 2006 and has not completely responded to the multiple compliance orders issued against them by the CHRT.
On Oct. 4, 2019 the federal government sought a judicial appeal against the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal award of compensation. On Nov. 29, 2019 the Federal Court denied the request and gave both parties until Jan. 29, 2020 to report back to the Tribunal. The date has been extended until Feb. 21, 2020.
No consistency across all jurisdictions including a lack of tripartite agreements with First Nations by a number of provinces. According to the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, Canada is excluding non-status First Nations children living off reserve from Jordan’s Principle and is still not extending coverage. (APTN Jan. 9, 2019). Also neglects to mention Métis.
What is Jordan’s Principle?
Jordan’s Principle is a child-first principle intended to ensure that First Nations children do not experience denials, delays, or disruptions of services ordinarily available to other children due to jurisdictional disputes.
Jordan’s Principle is named in honour of Jordan River Anderson, a First Nations child from Norway House Cree Nation, in Manitoba, who was born with a rare neuromuscular disease. Because his complex medical needs could not be treated on-reserve, Jordan was transferred to a hospital in Winnipeg, far from his community and family home. In 2001, a hospital-based team decided that Jordan’s needs would best be met in a specialized foster home closer to his home community.
However, federal and provincial governments disagreed regarding financial responsibility for Jordan’s proposed in-home services. The disputes ranged from disagreements over funding of foster care to conflicts over payment for smaller items such as a showerhead. During these conflicts, Jordan remained in hospital for more than two years, even though it was not medically necessary for him to be there. In 2005, Jordan died in hospital, at the age of five, never having had the opportunity to live in a family home.
Government actions to implement Jordan’s Principle
June 4, 2021 – APTN – The federal government had “conditioned its consent” and would only certify the claims if the Jordan’s Principle victims from between 1991 and 2007 were removed. Ottawa plans to fight in court against these families because their claims date to before 2007, arguing Canada isn’t legally liable for their suffering because Jordan’s Principle didn’t exist yet, according to court documents.
March 12., 2021 – The federal government filed its written submissions to the federal court on its application for judicial reviews on the issues of compensation and the definition of a First Nation’s child for the purposes of Jordan’s Principle eligibility. On the issue of compensation, the September 2019 ruling demonstrates “an overreach of jurisdiction which fails to adequately advance fair, equitable and comprehensive compensation. That is why we are actively seeking alternative avenues to comprehensive compensation for those affected”.
The federal government stated that on the issue of the definition of First Nations child for the purposes of Jordan’s Principle eligibility, we agree that services and supports should be provided to children who are recognized by their First Nation for eligibility under Jordan’s Principle, which is why eligibility will remain in place for them. However, we maintain that further engagement is required directly with First Nations on the important questions of community acceptance and second-generation eligibility, as outlined in the July and November 2020 CHRT rulings. Deciding who belongs to a First Nation community is complex and Canada will work with First Nations in making those decisions and implement the community acceptance aspect of this order regardless of the outcome of the judicial review. Since 2018, Canada has implemented changes to Jordan’s Principle to permanently expand eligibility criteria to include children who are registered or eligible to be registered under the Indian Act, and children who ordinarily reside on reserve. Additionally, for children who are not eligible to be registered but have one parent/guardian that is eligible to be registered, Canada continues to engage with First Nations partners with regard to the second-generation cut-off under the Indian Act and eligibility for a range of programs and services offered by the Government of Canada.
Dec. 22, 2020: NationTalk – Announced expanded eligibility under Jordan’s Principle to children who are recognized as members by their nation regardless of where they live in Canada on an ongoing basis. This work is as a direct response to the July and November 2020 CHRT orders regarding Jordan’s Principle eligibility, which Canada has been fully implementing since November 25, 2020. They have however asked for a judicial review of some aspects where the government still relies on Indian Act regulations and still wants to have some control over who “belongs to a First Nations community”.
Sept. 4, 2020 – Canadian Press – the federal government has agreed to certify the claims put forward by the Assembly of First Nations and the Moushoom class counsel in their class-action lawsuit from Feb. 12, 2020 and enter into mediation to reach a negotiated settlement for damages and justice for the thousands of First Nations children and families that have been discriminated against by Canada’s child welfare system that incentivized the removal of First Nation children from their families and Nations.
June 1, 2020 – The latest ruling provides clarification on the following definitions related to compensation regarding Jordan’s Principle: essential service, service gap, and unreasonable delay. The Tribunal upheld several issues related to the definitions that the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) put forward, including that a service did not need to be requested to be considered “essential,” and that definitions must be grounded in the principle of substantive equality. The Tribunal provided recommendations on the definitions of these terms, and the AFN, Canada and the other Parties involved with the case will collaborate on definitions to finalize the Draft Compensation Framework. Canada has sought Judicial Review of this ruling in Federal Court; however, hearings cannot commence until a final ruling on compensation is issued by the Tribunal.
April 16, 2020 – CHRT provides further clarity on compensation for First Nations children unnecessarily apprehended or denied essential Jordan’s Principal services. The Tribunal agreed with the AFN’s – and FNCFCS – submission that:
- victims should be able to access compensation at the age of territorial or provincial majority;
- that compensation should be available to children who entered care before January 1, 2006, but remained in care as of that date;
- and compensation should be paid to estates of deceased individuals who would have been eligible
June 20, 2019 – Bill C-92, An Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families” passed in House of Commons. “The goal with this legislation is to apply laws, policies and values to systems designed and implemented by First Nations for First Nations with the focus on providing every opportunity for our children to grow up feeling valued and connected to their families, cultures and nations. National Chief Perry Bellegarde
Mar. 19, 2019 – Budget 2019/20 pledges $1.2 billion over three years — $404 million per year beginning in 2019-2020 — to develop a long-term approach for services for First Nations children.
Feb. 9, 2018 – Indigenous Services Canada has opened a new Call Centre to help First Nations children get services and supports under the child-first jurisdictional policy known as Jordan’s Principle. The centre will provide families with direct access to agents who will start the intake process and connect them to the Jordan’s Principle representative in their area. The regional representatives work closely with local service co-ordinators across Canada to identify and address the needs of First Nations children and improve their health and well-being. (iPolitics)
Nov. 30, 2017 – Federal government is withdrawing its application for judicial review of two aspects of the ruling that the Government if Canada was seeking to set aside by the Federal Court: requests for services must be processed within 12 to 48 hours, and must be processed without case conferencing.
Oct. 27, 2016 – Government position is that great proportion of these children are receiving support for respite care, and funding has also been provided for supports such as specialized medical equipment and supplies; medical transportation; specialized day programs; and addiction treatment programs. Our government has also committed to enhancing service coordination and to working with our provincial and territorial partners to ensure that First Nations children have access to the same publicly funded health and social services available to other children where they live.
June 10, 2016 – Federal, provincial and territorial Ministers responsible for Aboriginal Affairs, and the leaders of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), Métis National Council (MNC), Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK), Indigenous Peoples’ Assembly of Canada (IPAC) and Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) met together and confirmed a new approach in support of improving outcomes for Indigenous peoples and promoting reconciliation in Canada, including:
- The Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action;
- The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples;
- The socio-economic gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians;
- The socio-economic action plan for Aboriginal women;
- Youth engagement; and
- Child and family services and Jordan’s Principle.
Dec. 16, 2016 – First Nations Child and Family Caring Society (FNCFCS) filed a motion asking the tribunal to find the federal government guilty of failing to comply with the tribunal’s orders regarding Jordan’s Principle, or, providing indigenous kids living on reserve with the same essential services as non-indigenous children.
2006 – The Province of BC confirmed that it has responsibility for providing health services to all residents of BC, including First Nations. Additionally, committees, such as the Tripartite Committee on First Nations Health and the Implementation Committee, work in direct partnership with FNHA to advance progress on issues like Jordan’s Principle
April 10, 2017 – Signed tripartite Reconciliation Charter between Governments of Canada and BC and First Nations Leadership Council (BC Assembly of First Nations, First Nations Summit and Union of BC Indian Chiefs).
Feb. 18, 2018 – The First Nations Health Authority is now administering Jordan’s Principle cases in British Columbia. The change comes from an administrative arrangement with the Government of Canada. Jordan’s principle was put into place to prevent First Nations children from being denied or experiencing delays in receiving health services.
2015 – Government as a whole has not clarified its interpretation of the scope of Jordan’s Principle (2015 Auditor’s report)
Feb. 14, 2017 – First Nations Health Consortium (11 First Nations and three Treaty areas representing 28% of total First Nations population) formed to work with Health Canada to deliver Enhanced Service Coordination to uphold Jordon’s Principal.
July 20, 2017 – Govt. plans to provide more money and services to children at risk on reserves. Will no longer wait for federal govt to provide necessary funding and will negotiate later
Nov. 10, 2018 – Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Indigenous Services alongside Chiefs from Maskwacis, Chief Joseph Weasel Child from Siksika Nation, Chief Clara Moberly from Bigstone Cree Nation and Kee Tas Kee Now Tribal Council which are represented by the First Nations Health Consortium and Danielle Larivée, Minister of Children’s Services for the Government of Alberta will sign a Tripartite Memorandum of Understanding on Jordan’s Principle.
Sept. 16, 2009 – Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN), the Governments of Saskatchewan and Canada agreed to an interim document related to Jordan’s Principle, and committed to working together to move forward on developing a final arrangement to fully implement Jordan’s Principle. The interim implementation represents the first time in Canada an agreement on Jordan’s Principle has been developed and endorsed by the First Nations, Canada and a Province. The Ministry of Health continues to play a role with the Ministries of First Nations and Métis Relations, Social Services and Education in moving toward a final agreement.
Sept., 2016 – Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) has been providing information sessions and receiving applications for Jordan’s Principle since September 2016 with the federal mandate to meet the orders of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) Ruling to ensure First Nations children, both on and off reserve, received the same level of care. Jordan’s Principle in Saskatchewan currently has several navigators on and off reserve, including but not limited to: Early Childhood Intervention Program (ECIP), First Nations Child and Family Service Agencies, Tribal Councils and Health. (Jordan’s Principle Coordination Report)
Jan., 2018 – The Saskatchewan First Nations Family and Community Institute (SFNFCI) won the tendering bid to manage the Jordan’s Principle Initiative in January 2018 through a proposal driven initiative.
July 26, 2018 – Saskatchewan First Nations Jordan’s Principle Coordination Report released. All 22 information sessions in 13 locations across Saskatchewan, from March 8-May 26 focused on providing information to First Nations Service providers on reserve. The value of community-based info sessions heightened the awareness and understanding of service providers and following the sessions, 90% of attendees were ready and very ready to apply for the Jordan’s Principle Initiative.
Jan. 2006 – The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC Chiefs in Assembly passed a resolution that called on the federal and provincial governments to implement the “child first principle” in resolving inter-governmental jurisdictional disputes, and, in honour of the memory of Jordan and with respect to his family and community, that this “child first principle” be termed “Jordan’s Principle” and be implemented without delay.
Dec., 2007 – Debate took place in the House of Commons on Jordan’s Principle (Private Members Motion 296) where the bill received unanimous support.
Nov., 2008 – Private Member’s Bill 203 Jordan Principle Implementation Act was introduced in the Manitoba Legislature but never made it to 2nd reading.
2011 – the AMC Chiefs in Assembly further called for the implementation of Jordan’s Principle by endorsing the “Declaration on Action for Implementation of Jordan’s Principle.”
Oct. 16 – 18, 2018 – Keewaywin: Our Way Home, Manitoba First Nations Engagement is a First-Nations led initiative. It was created to ensure First Nations design and deliver a regional response to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal decision to stop discriminating against First Nations children that includes:
- Full implementation of Jordan’s Principle; and
- Reform the First Nations Child and Family Services Program.
Oct. 19, 2018 – The funds ($1,187,715) support Jordan’s Principle for First Nations children living off reserve. The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) is administering the funds for programming, a project coordinator, and respite workers. Programming support delivered to off-reserve residents includes dental, medical appointments, therapy programs, and respite support to families with children ages 0 to 21. Delivered through the AMC’s EAGLE Urban Transition Centre (EUTC) in Winnipeg. It supports families in caring for their children in a way that promotes family unity and community strength.
Jan. 23, 2019 – “Jordan’s ’Principle Service Coordination: A Manitoba Regional Approach to Full Implementation of Jordan’s Principle” released by the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs. An outcome of “Keewaywin: Our Way Home, Manitoba First Nations Engagement” is an Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs led initiative. It was designed to get First Nations input on the design and delivery of a regional response to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal decision to stop discriminating against First Nations children https://manitobachiefs.com/wp-content/uploads/19-01-23-Jordans-Principle-Summit-Presentation-AMC.pdf
Sept. 16,2020: NationTalk – The Manitoba Government is seeking a Judicial Review of a Manitoba Human Rights Commission decision that found a First Nations family was discriminated against because they could not access provincial health care and related services on reserve announced Indigenous and Northern Relations Minister Eileen Clarke. “A judicial review of this decision will bring much needed attention to the legal obligations of federal and provincial governments, and bring clarity to this important issue.” This indicates that 13 years after Jordan’s Principle was unanimously passed in 2007, the federal and provincial governments have still not established clearly established protocols for administering Jordan’s Principle in practice.
April, 2018 – First Nations, Canada and Ontario committed to jointly reform the policy and funding approaches for First Nations Child and Family Services in Ontario
August, 2009 – INAC announced a tripartite agreement which shifted First Nations child and family service agencies in Quebec from Directive 20-1 funding to the “enhanced prevention focused funding” formula (INAC, 2010). The new formula includes maintenance, operational, and prevention funds. Maintenance funds are meant to cover costs of each child in care, operational funds are intended to cover administrative costs and prevention funding is for child maltreatment prevention programs
June 10, 2015 – The Chiefs of the Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador (AFNQL) pass a resolution calling on the federal and provincial governments to recognize Jordan’s Principle and to adopt a joint statement indicating their commitment to “resolve any jurisdictional or funding dispute that may jeopardize the health of a First Nation’s citizen, without discrimination based on geography, language, severity of concurrent needs, etc.”
This resolution calls for an expanded vision of Jordan’s Principle, by stipulating that no conflict of jurisdiction should limit a First Nation member’s access to care. (First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Health and Social Service Commission)
Feb. 26, 2010 – The province’s child and youth advocate, released a report earlier this week that sounded the alarm for children living on First Nations communities and made 93 recommendations. Among those reforms, Richard’s report called for the federal and provincial governments to hammer out an agreement on Jordan’s Principle by Sept. 1. The New Brunswick government agreed. (CBC)
Nov. 23, 2011 – Speech from the Throne: Your government firmly believes a child’s needs should come before cost or jurisdiction and will implement Jordan’s Principle on providing public services for Aboriginal children during this session.
Prince Edward island
May 1, 2018 – The Mi’kmaq Confederacy of P.E.I. has found its Jordan’s Principle pilot project is helping Island First Nations children better access health services. The new child-first service coordinator position was funded by the federal government to implement…Jordan’s Principle (CBC)
Newfoundland and Labrador
Sept. 24, 2019 – “A Long Wait for Change: Independent Review of Child Protection Services to Inuit Children in Newfoundland and Labrador” released with the following recommendation # 21: Government of Newfoundland and Labrador vigorously adopt and observe Jordan’s Principle for Indigenous children and youth, and work with the federal government to access available federal resources to help address needs.
May 10, 2018 – First Nations in the Yukon can now receive assistance from the Council of Yukon First Nations (CYFN) in accessing services for children and youth. CYFN is the service coordinator for Jordan’s Principle in the Yukon, helping make sure First Nations children and youth across the territory receive services they need without disruptions, delay, or discrimination.
Oct. 5, 2015 – The Government of the Northwest Territories supports the adoption of a child-first principle to resolve disputes involving the care of First Nations children, but notes that there is a single health and social services system throughout the NWT that does not have separate health and social services for on-reserve First Nations children and families. (Meeting the Challenge of Reconciliation: NWT Response to the TRC Calls to Action)
July 3, 2018 – The federal government has pledged to develop a new policy to ensure Inuit children have equitable access to health care and other public services, regardless of where they live and where they go to receive care. The new initiative is meant to be an equivalent to another policy in place for First Nations children. The policy and related funding are intended to resolve jurisdictional disputes between provincial/territorial and federal governments over the cost of health care services, when children have to travel away from home to receive them. “In the past, there was a lack of understanding around if Inuit were eligible under Jordan’s Principle,” said Natan Obed, the president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami. “Only in the last year or so has the federal government made it clear that we weren’t.” (Nunatsiaq News)
Mar. 19, 2019 – Due to the remoteness of their home communities and the limited availability of culturally appropriate services, Inuit children face a number of unique challenges accessing health and social services. To address the immediate needs of Inuit children, Budget 2019 proposes to invest $220 million over five years, beginning in 2019–20, to provide services to Inuit children as work continues with Inuit and other government partners to improve local capacity to deliver services.
The following three sections focus on:
- Timelines and details for the CHRT Non-Compliance orders from the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society
- Conclusions from the Jordan’s Principle Working Group
- The last section contains the official federal government response from the Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs website.
CHRT Compliance Orders
From First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada
On Jan. 26, 2016 the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) released a ruling (2016 CHRT 2) that found Canada discriminates against First Nations children by providing less child welfare funding to help keep them safe and by not implementing Jordan’s Principle to give them the services they need, when they need them. The CHRT ordered Canada to immediately stop the discrimination and to fully implement Jordan’s Principle. Since the initial ruling, the CHRT has had to issue 20 additional non-compliance and procedural orders to Canada.
On August 26, 2021, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal issued a letter-decision to clarify and reinforce previous rulings for the purpose of ongoing negotiations and communication between all the parties. The CHRT confirms that funding of buildings and additional capital assets that support the delivery of FNCFS and Jordan’s Principle programs and prevention services must be provided to FNCFS agencies, including small agencies and First Nations. This letter-decision serves as a precursor to a larger order accompanied by reasons.
2021 CHRT 12 March 17, 2021. Tribunal approves a consent order regarding non-Agency Communities providing child and family services.
2021 CHRT 7 February 12, 2021. Tribunal releases ruling 2021 CHRT 7 “Framework for the Payment of Compensation under 2019 CHRT 39
2021 CHRT 6 February 11, 2021. Tribunal releases ruling 2021 CHRT 6 “Compensation Process Ruling on Four Outstanding Issues in Order to Finalize the Draft Compensation Framework“
2020 CHRT 15 May 28, 2020. The Tribunal rules the compensation process on outstanding issues in order to finalize the Draft Compensation Framework.
2020 CHRT 36 November 25, 2020. Order regarding criteria on the groups of children eligible to receive services through Jordan’s Principle.
2020 CHRT 24 August 11, 2020. Order regarding the Band Representative Services for Ontario First Nations, Tribal Councils and First Nations Child and Family Service Agencies.
2020 CHRT 20 July 17, 2020. Order on the groups of children eligible to receive services through Jordan’s Principle.
2020 CHRT 17 June 12, 2020. Order on a disclosure issue.
2020 CHRT 7 April 16, 2020. The Tribunal rules on three questions where the Caring Society, Assembly of First Nations and Canada did not reach a consensus and required further guidance from the Tribunal with regard to the draft “Framework for the Payment of Compensation under 2019 CHRT 39.”
2019 CHRT 11 March 4, 2019. CHRT grants the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples (CAP) limited interested party status with conditions.
2019 CHRT 39 September 6, 2019. Order for Canada to pay maximum compensation ($40,000) for First Nations children and their families who were negatively impacted by Canada’s discriminatory practices.
2019 CHRT 7 February 21, 2019. Order for non-status First Nations children recognized by their Nation in urgent situations to be covered under Jordan’s Principle until the evidence has been heard regarding the definition of a First Nations child.
2019 CHRT 1 January 7, 2019. Order for Canada to pay the complainants and the Chiefs of Ontario for compensation for knowingly failing to disclose 90,000 highly-relevant documents to the complaint and for failing to advise the CHRT and the parties at the earliest opportunity.
2018 CHRT 4 February 1, 2018. Order for Canada to undertake a cost analysis First Nations Child and Family Services Program and 1965 Agreement; and, Canada to fund prevention/least disruptive measures on actuals.
2017 CHRT 35 November 2, 2017. Order to amend 2017 CHRT 14 following Canada’s judicial review of certain aspects.
2017 CHRT 14 May 26, 2017. Order regarding immediate relief for Jordan’s Principle.
2017 CHRT 7 March 29, 2017. Order moving forward Nishnawbe Aski Nation’s motion for immediate relief including the Choose Life initiative.
2016 CHRT 16 September 14, 2016. Order for Canada to update its policies, procedures and agreements to comply with the findings in 2016 CHRT 2 with regard to the First Nations Child and Family Services Program, 1965 Agreement and Jordan’s Principle.
2016 CHRT 10 April 26, 2016. Order for Canada to fully implement Jordan’s Principle within two weeks (May 10, 2016).
2016 CHRT 2 Kids win! In a landmark ruling, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal finds the Canadian government is racially discriminating against 165,000 First Nations children.
CHRT Judicial reviews
First Judicial Review: Ruling on immediate relief concerning Jordan’s Principle, cited as 2017 CHRT 14 (“the May 26th Orders”).
On June 23, 2017, Canada filed an application for judicial review of certain aspects of the May 26th Orders, seeking to quash paragraphs thereof prohibiting Canada from engaging in case conferencing and requiring Canada to complete the initial evaluation and determination of requests within 12-48 hours of receipt
The Tribunal noted that the manner in which Canada limits funding for prevention services is not an acceptable fiscal or social policy and is harming First Nations children as a result. Canada is taking an overly narrow approach to honouring Jordan’s Principle that applies to all First Nations children in need of care, regardless of where they reside. The ruling sets out a number of directives and timelines for Canada to comply with Jordan’s Principle.
Second Judicial Review: Decision to award $2B in damages to approximately 53,000 Indigenous children and youth wrongly removed or denied essential services.
On September 29th, 2021, Justice Favel of the Federal Court released his decision on two matters put forward by Canada for Judicial Review, in cases T-1559-20 and T-1621-19.
The Federal Court has dismissed Ottawa’s appeals of two human rights tribunal rulings concerning First Nations child welfare compensation and protection. The court upheld a 2019 ruling of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal that ordered Ottawa to pay $40,000 — the maximum amount permitted under the Canadian Human Rights Act — to thousands of First Nations children and their families.
Third Judicial Review: Capital Costs award decision
On September 24, 2021, Canada filed for Judicial Review on the Letter Decision issued by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal on August 26, 2021.
Jordon’s Principal Working Group
Without denial, delay, or disruption: Ensuring First Nations children’s access to equitable services through Jordan’s Principle
The Assembly of First Nations, the Canadian Paediatric Society, and UNICEF Canada call on federal, provincial, and territorial governments to work with First Nations, without delay, in order to:
- Develop and implement a governmental response that is consistent with the vision of Jordan’s Principle advanced by First Nations and endorsed by the House of Commons.
- Systematically identify and address the jurisdictional ambiguities and underfunding that give rise to each Jordan’s Principle case. By clarifying jurisdictional responsibilities and eliminating the underfunding identified in individual cases, governments can prevent denials, delays, and disruptions in services for other children in similar circumstances. Accordingly, they can better assume the responsibilities to ensure equitable treatment of First Nations children outlined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Canadian Human Rights Act and other federal, provincial/territorial, and First Nations legislation and agreements.
Based on review of the evidence presented in the studies summarized above, the Jordan’s Principle Working Group concludes that nine conditions must be satisfied in order for a governmental response to reflect the vision of Jordan’s Principle advanced by First Nations and endorsed by the House of Commons, and to achieve the goals of Jordan’s Principle:
- Jordan’s Principle must apply to all Status and Status-eligible First Nations children.
- Jordan’s Principle must apply to all inter- and intra-governmental disputes.
- Jordan’s Principle must apply to all service domains.
- The criteria for identifying Jordan’s Principle cases should centre on the existence of jurisdictional ambiguity or underfunding that prevents a First Nations child from receiving services in accordance with provincial/territorial practice norms and legislated standards.
- Jordan’s Principle must operate as a true child-first principle.
- There must be clear and consistent standards and procedures for compensating all service providers, including First Nations providers, for the costs incurred during all Jordan’s Principle related processes.
- First Nations must be included as true partners in all stages of development and implementation of a response to Jordan’s Principle in every province/territory
- Measures of accountability and transparency must be incorporated at the case level.
- Measures of accountability and transparency must be incorporated at the broader level of implementation, in order to ensure compliance with responsibilities to First Nations children under international, national, provincial/territorial, and First Nations law and agreements.
Official Response from Federal Government: Sept. 5, 2019
Since 2016, the Government has made available $679.9 million to Jordan’s Principle to help with health, social and education services that are needed right away.
Between July 2016 and December 31, 2019, more than 508,000 products, services and supports were approved under Jordan’s Principle. These include mental health supports, medical equipment, speech therapy, educational supports and more.
Indigenous Service Canada (ISC) is fully committed to implementing Jordan’s Principle and complying with the orders of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal. ISC continues to monitor and track compliance with the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal orders and is working with partners to improve processes to review and assess Jordan’s Principle requests and to implement a coordinated care system.
ISC will continue to reach out to First Nations families, health providers and provincial or territorial partners to raise awareness of Jordan’s Principle through a proactive communications and marketing approach.
On September 18, 2018, the Government of Canada, in partnership with the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, announced that an Inuit-specific Child First Initiative and framework is under development and that interim measures are available for Inuit families to submit requests to ISC on behalf of Inuit children requiring access to the health, social and education products, services and supports they need.
To ensure that First Nations children continue to have access to the services that they need, Budget 2019 announced $1.2 billion over 3 years, beginning in fiscal year 2019 to 2020. During that time, the Government of Canada and First Nations will continue to work together to develop a long-term approach to improving services for First Nations children, based on Jordan’s Principle.
In addition, to address the immediate needs of Inuit children, Budget 2019 announced to invest $220 million over 5 years, beginning in fiscal year 2019 to 2020, to provide services to Inuit children as work continues with Inuit and other government partners to improve local capacity to deliver services.