NAN responds to Federal Government seeking judicial review of CHRT ruling
Nishnawbe Aski Nation
Special to The Bulletin
Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler has issued the following statement on the federal government seeking a judicial review of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruling ordering Ottawa to pay compensation to First Nation children of an unjust and underfunded child-welfare system:
“It is outrageous that this government refuses to accept the Tribunal’s decision and continues to deny their obligation to First Nation children and families. The federal government’s position that discrimination with respect to funding for child and family services on-reserve is no longer on-going is absurd. We only need to look at their refusal to incorporate the true cost of doing business in the remote north into their funding formulas as evidence that this discrimination continues to occur. The current government has inherited this mess, but they are not doing their part to fix it.”
The judicial review challenges the Tribunal’s September 2019 order that the government must pay $40,000 to each child, parent and grandparent - the maximum allowed under the Canadian Human Rights Act - who were willfully and recklessly discriminated against.
NAN has intervenor status in the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal case that ruled in 2016 the government discriminated against First Nations children by under-funding on-reserve child welfare services. The case was initially filed in 2007 by the First Nations Child & Family Caring Society of Canada and the Assembly of First Nations.