July 17th, 2024

Assembly of First Nations, Ottawa confirm $47.8-billion deal on child welfare reform

By The Canadian Press on July 11, 2024.

National Chief Cindy Woodhouse Nepinak gives her opening address at the Assembly of First Nations annual general assembly in Montreal, Tuesday, July 9, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christinne Muschi

MONTREAL – The AFN’s national chief confirmed today that the organization finalized a deal with Ottawa late Wednesday night to put $47.8 billion towards child-welfare reform.

Cindy Woodhouse Nepinak got cheers as she made the announcement on the floor of the annual general assembly in Montreal.

Indigenous Services Minister Patty Hajdu stood beside chiefs and shed a few tears in a subsequent news conference as Woodhouse Nepinak said what a monumental agreement they had reached.

The deal is worth more than double what was originally promised for long-term reform in a settlement agreement that resulted from a hard-fought human-rights complaint over underfunding of child-welfare services.

Families who helped launched the initial court case stood with the minister and national chief as they shared the news.

Ontario Regional Chief Abram Benedict says the agreement marks a fundamental change in the relationship between First Nations and Ottawa.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 11, 2024.

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