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Federal Government Keeping First Nations Children Threadbare

Federal Government Keeping First Nations Children Threadbare

A landmark ruling may force the Government of Canada to increase funding for First Nations children living on reserves, bringing it up to provincial levels.

The First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada and the Assembly of First Nations challenged the government before the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal. They charged discrimination against First Nations children, pointing out that federal child welfare programs spend 22% less for on-reserve children than the provinces do for those living off reserve. Government lawyers slowed the deliberations with five years of legal wrangling over technical issues.

Last summer, the Tribunal handed government foot draggers a victory. Shirish Chotalia, chair of the panel hearing the case, wrote that the Tribunal accepted the government’s primary argument: federal and provincial service providers could not be compared. By that reasoning, there was no case.

The losing parties appealed in Federal Court. On April 18th, Federal Court Justice Mactavish dismissed the earlier decision and sent the case back to “a differently constituted panel” of the Tribunal. She reminded government it was already relying on provincial standards, by its “own adoption of provincial child welfare standards in its programming manual and funding policies.” This time the merits of the case, rather than semantics, will be examined.

On hearing the court’s ruling, Liberal Aboriginal Affairs critic Dr. Carolyn Bennett issued this statement:

The sad reality is that the number of Aboriginal children in care today is far greater than during the residential school era. The federal government must stop trying to shirk its responsibilities for child welfare on reserves, and act with First Nations to ensure that equitable, culturally-based child services are made available immediately.

The federal government has 30 days to file an appeal, but there are more honorable things to do with tax dollars. Instead of paying lawyers to continue fighting the challenge to their funding formula, they can invest those dollars in programs that offer First Nations children a brighter future.

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35 comments

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10:46PM PDT on Aug 22, 2012

Realistically, the government and the invaders of that country owes these people a lot of rent for using their land...they are after all living rent free, and not only that, they are plundering these people's lands and keeping the money! Why? A. The right of conquest. F'ing barbarians!

1:24AM PDT on Apr 25, 2012

you ain't seen nothin' yet .....

check this out (careful though, it is fainting material) ... well worth a little look

http://alcuinbramerton.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/global-banking-crisis-what-global.html

9:21PM PDT on Apr 23, 2012

Why do all countries (U.S. included) subjugate their indigenous peoples?

11:21AM PDT on Apr 23, 2012

I think the best thing for the natives would be to have to live like every body else in the country. Get rid of reserves and live like the rest of us. because the way they are living is like second class citizen and shouldnt be treated any different than the rest of the people in the country. they should have equal rights and equal living and have to achieve this the same way as every body else.

11:19AM PDT on Apr 23, 2012

I think the best thing for the natives would be to have to live like every body else in the country. Get rid of reserves and live like the rest of us. because the way they are living is like second class citizen and shouldnt be treated any different than the rest of the people in the country. they should have equal rights and equal living and have to achieve this the same way as every body else.

8:16AM PDT on Apr 22, 2012

"Native" community funding which averages 7-8 TIMES non "native" ....report.
Millions working minimum wage in crap jobs daily by transit miles away in sweat box cities and freezing winters .. taxes taking 50? of income to pay for this never ending game.
Supports and percs way above and beyond anything that none natives would even dare to expect.There IS pain.. EVERYWHERE.
Could go on and on ..and on...... about this .. but please ..maybe do a bit of balanced reporting...at least.. the majority of immigration to canada and rising percentages of this population have no connection to this historical merrygo round...how long do you think they will accept this? maybe we all need to think in common unison for ALL our childrens sakes; working with what we have in common...before the bottom falls out of the social and enviromental foundations which we ALL seem to be hell bound in destroying.

3:07AM PDT on Apr 22, 2012

Hopefully Karma or the devil will catch up with Harper sooner than later, and may the 2 people who voted no on this poll reap the same mean-spirited BS they sow.

4:47PM PDT on Apr 21, 2012

May this change for benefit occur as it seems Canada is on a roll in positive legislation right now.

5:10PM PDT on Apr 20, 2012

The last paragraph says it all. Canada, stop wasting tax payer dollars on lawyer fees and Do The Right Thing for First Nations children. Shame for dragging this out while children suffer!

4:03PM PDT on Apr 20, 2012

I don't believe this.

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Kathleen J. Kathleen is currently the Activism Coordinator at Care2. more
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