*Update* KIDS WIN! Canadian Human Rights Tribunal finds the Canadian government is racially discriminating against 163,000 First Nations children.
In a landmark ruling released on January 26, 2016, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal found that the Canadian government is racially discriminating against 163,000 First Nations children and their families by providing flawed and inequitable child welfare services ("FNCFS Program") and failing to implement Jordan's Principle to ensure equitable access to government services available to other children.
In 2007, the Caring Society and the Assembly of First Nations filed a human rights complaint against the Federal government, alleging that Canada’s failure to provide equitable and culturally based child welfare services to First Nations children on-reserve amounts to discrimination on the basis of race and ethnic origin. After several unsuccessful efforts by the Federal government to have the case dismissed on legal technicalities, a hearing on the complaint began on February 25, 2013 at the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal and were completed on October 24, 2014.
The I am a witness campaign invites organizations and people of all ages to follow and learn about the case in person or online and to decide for themselves if First Nations children are being treated fairly. On this site you will find a comprehensive timeline with the legal submissions by all parties in the case along with relevant reports from credible independent sources like the Auditor General of Canada.
Kids need your help. What you can do:
The Tribunal ruling was a victory not only for First Nations kids, but for all Canadians who believe in love and fairness. But kids still need your help—here's what you can do:
- Write to the Prime Minister or your Member of Parliament to demand: 1) Canada not appeal the Tribunal's decision; 2) immediate implementation of these actions to relieve children's suffering; and 3) Canada work with First Nations to set things right and put an end to discrimination.
- This February, celebrate Have a Heart Day. Have a Heart Day is an annual child and youth-led reconciliation campaign in support of equity for First Nations children, including equity in child welfare. Keep those Valentine's messages to the PM coming so that First Nations kids finally get the childhood they deserve. Find out more and register your participation at haveaheartday.ca.