For immediate release
September 6, 2019
Treaty One Territory, Winnipeg, MB – Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc. (MKO) is responding to news that the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal has ordered Ottawa to pay thousands of dollars to every First Nations child who was placed in the on-reserve child welfare system. The Tribunal ordered the federal government to pay $40,000 to each child for all children in the care of the child welfare system at any point from January 1, 2006, to a date to be determined by the Tribunal.
“For far too long, Canada has failed to act in the best interests of First Nations children and families,” said Grand Chief Garrison Settee. “Today’s ruling is significant. It recognizes the ongoing harm that has been perpetuated by the government when it comes to First Nations children. The harm started with residential schools, followed by the Sixties Scoop, and continues with the child welfare system today. As a country, we must do better for First Nations children.”
“I want to commend Dr. Cindy Blackstock along with National Chief Perry Bellegarde, Nishnawbe Aski Nation, Chiefs of Ontario, and Amnesty International for the persistence and strength they have shown in fighting for the rights of First Nations children and families across Canada,” stated Grand Chief Settee. “This ruling is another stark reminder to both the federal and provincial governments that they need to do what’s best for First Nations children. I hope the federal government will comply with this ruling. Our children deserve respect. MKO will continue to work to restore our inherent jurisdiction over child welfare matters.”
MKO advocates for 26 Northern First Nations in asserting control over child welfare matters in a way that recognizes the sovereignty of each First Nation.
You can view a full copy of the Tribunal’s ruling here.