(Ottawa, ON): Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde and First Nations Child and Family Caring Society Caring Society Executive Director Cindy Blackstock will respond to the long-awaited decision by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal regarding discrimination against First Nations children in care. The decision will be released Tuesday morning and posted on the AFN website at 9 a.m. ET.
Tuesday January 26, 2016
1:00 p.m. ET
National Press Theatre
150 Wellington Street, Ottawa, ON
The AFN and the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society took the extraordinary step of jointly filing a complaint to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal in February 2007 alleging the provision of First Nations child and family services by the Government of Canada, specifically Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (now Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada) was flawed, inequitable and thus discriminatory under the Canadian Human Rights Act.
The joint complaint states that the Government of Canada has a longstanding pattern of providing inequitable funding for child welfare services for First Nations children on reserves compared to non-Aboriginal children. The impacts on children and families are many, including the staggering statistic that there are more First Nations children in care today than at the height of the residential schools system.
Hearings took place between February 2013 and October 2014 involving 25 witnesses and more than 500 documents filed as evidence.
Internal federal government documents estimate the child welfare funding shortfall to be 34.8 percent and link this inequity to children going into foster care because their families are not provided equitable support services.
For more information on the case: www.fnwitness.ca
The Assembly of First Nation is the national organization representing First Nation citizens in Canada. Follow AFN on Twitter @AFN_Comms, @AFN_Updates and visit the AFN website at www.afn.ca.
The First Nations Child & Family Caring Society of Canada is a national non-profit organization providing research, policy, professional development for First Nations children, youth, families and organizations.