Amnesty International welcomes today’s ruling by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal which has ordered the federal government to take immediate action to end the discriminatory underfunding of child and family services for First Nations children on reserves and in the Yukon.
Although the provinces and territories have jurisdiction to set standards for child welfare services, the federal government sets the funding levels for those services delivered to First Nations children and families on reserves and in the Yukon.
The Tribunal concluded that the federal government’s arbitrary funding formula fails to consider “the actual service needs of First Nations children and families” and creates “incentives to remove children from their homes and communities.”
The discrimination complaint, initiated by the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society and the Assembly of First Nations, first came before the Tribunal in 2008. Amnesty International intervened in the case, as did Chiefs of Ontario.