Canada agrees to ‘historic reparations’ for 200,000 indigenous children — Analysis

Billions of dollars will be paid in compensation to the victims of ‘discriminatory’ First Nations child welfare system

The Canadian government has reached a “milestone” $31-billion settlement to compensate indigenous children and families harmed by the “discriminatory underfunding” of the child welfare system on First Nations reservations.

Two in-principle agreements – relating to compensation for more than 200,000 affected children dating back to 1991, and to future reform of the system – represent the “largest settlement in Canadian history,”Marc Miller, Crown-Indigenous Relation Minister, stated Tuesday.

It is important to note that “historic injustices require historic reparations,”Miller stated that “no amount of money can reverse the harms experienced”The deals were described by him as an acknowledgment of the failures of successive governments in relation to indigenous children.

This settlement will close a long-running legal dispute that started in 2007 when First Nations Child and Family Caring Society filed a complaint to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal. The tribunal found that Ottawa underfunded First Nations children’s services relative to non-indigenous.

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Canada appealed against the CHRT verdict and ordered that compensation be paid in Can$40,000 (US$314,55) for every Indigenous child removed from their families by the system.

Last year, after losing this appeal, the government began formal negotiations with native groups rather than taking it to the Supreme Court. The discussions concluded on New Year’s Eve. David Lametti, Justice Minister, stated that the government will withdraw appeals after the final agreements have been reached.

Please describe the deal in this way: “words on paper,”Cindy Blackstock, the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society’s executive director, stated to Reuters, that system reform funds in the amount of Can$20 billion may not be able to address the root causes.

“I judge victory when I can walk into a community and a child is able to say to me, ‘My life is better than it was yesterday.’ Nothing in these words actually changes children’s lives until it’s implemented,”Blackstock stated.

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