again & again …


Friday October 29/21 Aboriginal Peoples Network APTV

The Canadian government has appealed a Federal Court decision to uphold compensation for First Nations families torn apart by the deliberately underfunded child-welfare system.

Indigenous Services Canada filed the last-minute legal challenge in the Federal Court of Appeal Friday afternoon just before it closed, taking the fight to the appellate court for the second time in 14 years.

Cindy Blackstock, who along with the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) filed the original complaint at the tribunal in 2007, told APTN National News she was disappointed with the move.

“I’ve always felt like this case is about ending discrimination against kids and trying to make some reparations for the victims that were hurt,” said Blackstock, executive director at the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society. “It’s disturbing to see that the federal government is not yet fully able to put down its sword of litigation against First Nations children.”

In 2019, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ordered Canada to pay the statutory maximum of $40,000 to victims unnecessarily taken from their communities and placed in foster care because of racist and inequitable federal funding practices.

The quasi-judicial panel of human rights experts ruled Ottawa’s “wilful and reckless” discrimination caused “pain and suffering of the worst kind warranting the maximum award” for tens of thousands of kids and caregivers.

Decision affects approximately 50,000 Indigenous children waiting for compensation

Ottawa says it’s also working with Indigenous groups to reach a compensation agreement by the end of the year.