In Largest Settlement in its History, Canada Comes to Agreement in Principle in Child Welfare Lawsuit

NY Times Coverage here

The Canadian government announced Tuesday that it had reached what it called the largest settlement in Canada’s history, paying $31.5 billion to fix the nation’s discriminatory child welfare system and compensate the Indigenous people harmed by it.

Agreement in principle/press release here

For those who were following this case, it involves the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, which is led by Cindy Blackstock. The settlement attempts to reform Child and Family Services and address Jordan’s Principle. This is a major settlement and significant milestone for Native children and families in Canada. 

Globe and Mail Article on Cindy Blackstock


“What I saw were children being systemically removed from these communities. And I’d go to these communities, and there was no running water, and people would wonder why the kids weren’t clean, and I’d think maybe someone should do something about the water. We would see the multigenerational impacts of residential schools, and there are no mental-health services that are culturally appropriate. So there were all these layers of inequality and I started to realize it was the system, in many cases, that was creating conditions where families were not going to be successful in caring for their kids. And nobody was really holding the system to account.”


Canadian Human Rights Tribunal Releases Decision on Discrimination Against Children Living on Reserves

Here is the decision.

AANDC’s [Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada] design, management and control of the FNCFS [First Nations Child and Family Services] Program, along with its
corresponding funding formulas and the other related provincial/territorial agreements have resulted in denials of services and created various adverse impacts for many First
Nations children and families living on reserves.

Here is the media coverage.

This is a tremendous and long-fought victory for the First Nations and Family Caring Society, who brought the claim, and Cindy Blackstock, the executive director of the Society and incredible driving force behind the claim.