I am a Witness: Tribunal Timeline and Documents

The timeline below chronicles the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal case on inequitable funding for First Nations child welfare, which the Tribunal ruled amounts to discrimination.  

View the pre-Tribunal timeline for a history of First Nations child and family services funding leading up the case. 

  • February 23, 2010

    Caring Society Executive Director, Cindy Blackstock, PhD, is cross examined in public by Canada on her affidavit opposing Canada’s application at the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal to derail the tribunal on the “funding is not a service” argument. Students from Elizabeth Wyn Wood Secondary along with other members of the public come to watch.

  • December 21, 2009

    Canada files an application to derail the Tribunal on the merits arguing that the Tribunal does not have jurisdiction as “funding is not a service.”

  • December 7, 2009

    INAC contracts KPMG Forensic to provide an expert report and expert witness services for the Crown. Contract obtained through Access to Information.

  • November 24, 2009

    Federal Court Prothonotary Aronovitch rules that Canada’s application to strike the Tribunal hearings should be stayed until after the Tribunal rules. Canada appeals.

  • November 6, 2009

    Tribunal Chair Chotalia vacates all the hearing dates on the merits without consultation with the parties and introduces a variety of procedural mechanisms for reasons we still do not fully understand.

  • November 2, 2009

    Conservative government appoints a new Tribunal Chair, Shirish Chotalia.

  • September 14, 2009

    Canadian Human Rights Tribunal opens. Tribunal Chair Sinclair grants interested party status to Amnesty International Canada and to the Chiefs of Ontario.

    Opening Statement at the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal on First Nations child welfare made by Cindy Blackstock, Executive Director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada.

  • October 2008

    Canadian government appeals decision by the CHRC to refer the matter to the tribunal on the basis that it funds child welfare and others provide the service. Only services are protected under the Canadian Human Rights Act and thus, the government believes, they should be exempt from this discrimination claim.

  • September 30, 2008

    Canadian Human Rights Commission refers the complaint to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal. CHRC believes the case is so important to the public interest that it will argue the case in favour of First Nations children’s equity at the Tribunal.

  • February 23, 2007

    Assembly of First Nations (AFN) and the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society (Caring Society) file complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) alleging that Canada is racially discriminating against First Nations children by providing less child welfare funding, and thus benefit, on reserves.