July 21st, 2024

Federal Court approves $23B First Nations child-welfare settlement

By The Canadian Press on October 24, 2023.

A Federal Court judge has verbally approved a landmark $23-billion settlement that will see Ottawa compensate more than 300,000 First Nations children and their families over chronic underfunding of on-reserve child-welfare services. The Peace Tower is pictured on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

OTTAWA – A Federal Court judge has verbally approved a landmark $23-billion settlement that will see Ottawa compensate more than 300,000 First Nations children and their families over chronic underfunding of on-reserve child-welfare services.

The Assembly of First Nations and the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society first launched a human-rights complaint in 2007.

In 2016, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal called the federal government’s treatment of First Nations child welfare “wilful and reckless.”

It found First Nations are adversely impacted by the services provided by the government and, in some cases, denied services as a result of the government’s involvement.

Ottawa had offered to spend $20 billion to reform the child-welfare system and another $20 billion on compensation last year, but the tribunal raised concerns that not all eligible claimants would receive compensation.

Indigenous Services Minister Patty Hajdu says she’s happy the settlement has been approved, and she hopes there will be peace for the litigants.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 24, 2023.

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