Treaty One Territory, Manitoba – The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) is encouraged by the Agreements-in-Principle (AIP) reached by AFN, First Nations Children and Family Caring Society and Canada to compensate First Nations children and youth who were wrongfully discriminated against through Canada’s First Nations Child and Family Services Program. The agreement for compensation also addresses the failure of government to fully implement Jordan’s Principle.
“Today marks an important step forward for how this country reconciles its racist treatment of First Nations children. This challenging process has been patiently endured by First Nations children and families. As we move forward, it is important that we support First Nations children in recognizing their gifts, talents and worth,” AMC says Grand Chief Cathy Merrick.
In October 2022, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) did not approve the original $20-billion compensation agreement between the AFN and Canada. Having recognized the harm caused to First Nations children, the AMC Chiefs-in-Assembly passed a resolution directing the AFN Regional Chief to request that Canada continue to enhance the First Nations Child and Family Services Program. It includes funding for prevention activities, support for youth transitioning from care to adulthood and support for young adults formerly in care up to 25 years of age, as well as First Nations representative services.
“Throughout the years, Canada has acknowledged the harms caused by various policies and programs imposed on First Nations. The announcement today, as well as ones that will follow, offer Canada a chance to honour its treaty with First Nations. Reconciliation should not be based on the terms of government, nor should it be within the parameters of Canada’s federalism. Reconciliation is about First Nations leading and Canada supporting. To address the child welfare crisis, Canada can continue to amend and develop different policies and programs. We are First Nations; we have called these lands home and raised our children on these lands following our values and processes for much longer than 150 years.” Said Grand Chief Cathy Merrick.