WATCH FOR FREE ‘TIL OCTOBER 24: FILM ON SERVICES FOR FIRST NATIONS CHILDREN | Federal Court Denies Canada’s Request to Set Aside Human Rights Tribunal Decisions

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WATCH FOR FREE ‘TIL OCTOBER 24: FILM ON SERVICES FOR FIRST NATIONS CHILDREN  | Federal Court Denies Canada’s Request to Set Aside Human Rights Tribunal Decisions

October 20, 2021

IN HONOUR OF JORDAN RIVER ANDERSON’S BIRTHDAY this Friday, October 22, the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada is sharing its first film, Spirit Bear and Children Make History, for free until Sunday, October 24. The film is intended for all ages.

On September 29, 2021, the Federal Court released its decision on Canada’s application for judicial review of two aspects of numerous Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings. This bilingual information sheet explains the decision in child-friendly language.

Jordan’s Principle is about ensuring First Nations children receive the services they need when they need them. From the FC decision:

[12] Jordan’s Principle is named after Jordan River Anderson, who was from Norway House Cree Nation in Manitoba. Jordan had complex medical needs. His parents surrendered him to provincial care so that he could receive the necessary treatment. Jordan could have gone to a specialized foster home but Canada and Manitoba disagreed over who should pay the foster care costs. Jordan died at age five having never lived outside the hospital. Based on these circumstances, Jordan’s Principle was established. Jordan’s Principle is described in [First Nations Child & Family Caring Society of Canada v Attorney General of Canada, 2016 CHRT 2] as follows:

Jordan’s Principle is a child-first principle and provides that where a government service is available to all other children and a jurisdictional dispute arises between Canada and a province/territory, or between departments in the same government regarding services to a First Nations child, the government department of first contact pays for the service and can seek reimbursement from the other government/department after the child has received the service. It is meant to prevent First Nations children from being denied essential public services or experiencing delays in receiving them (at para 351).

[Emphasis in original.]

[13] The House of Commons unanimously passed Jordan’s Principle on December 12, 2007 in House of Commons Motion 296:

That, in the opinion of the House, the government should immediately adopt a child first principle, based on Jordan’s Principle, to resolve jurisdictional disputes involving the care of First Nations children.

[14] A Memorandum of Understanding on Jordan’s Principle [MOU] was signed between Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada [AANDC] and Health Canada in 2009. The MOU indicated that AANDC’s role in responding to Jordan’s Principle was by virtue of the range of social programs it provides to First Nations people, including: special education, assisted living, income assistance, and the FNCFS Program. The MOU was renewed in 2013.

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We acknowledge that the land on which we work is the unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples, including the territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.