Today, Canada, the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), and the plaintiffs in the Moushoom and Trout class actions announced that a final settlement agreement has been signed, regarding compensation for First Nations children and families harmed by discriminatory underfunding of the First Nations Child and Family Services program and the federal government’s narrow definition of Jordan’s Principle. Together, the Parties arrived at this historic settlement agreement – the largest in Canadian history – which recognizes harm to First Nations children and their families. The agreement ensures fair compensation for survivors and their families who suffered because of the discriminatory underfunding of services.
To reach this agreement, Canada, the Assembly of First Nations and counsel representing the plaintiffs in the Moushoom and Trout class actions have worked collaboratively and tirelessly over the past six months since announcing Agreements-in-Principle. Plaintiffs and their counsel took the lead on proposing a structure and roll-out of compensation that best meet the needs of the class members.
The next step is to bring the final settlement agreement to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal asking for the Tribunal’s confirmation that the settlement satisfies its orders on compensation. The final settlement agreement will then be brought to the Federal Court of Canada for approval. If approved, the process to implement the settlement will begin.
The agreement provides $20 billion and, once approved by the Federal Court and the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, the following groups will be eligible for compensation:
- children who were removed from their homes under the First Nations Child and Family Services program between April 1, 1991 and March 31, 2022
- children who were impacted by the government’s narrow definition of Jordan’s Principle between December 12, 2007 and November 2, 2017
- children who did not receive or were delayed in receiving an essential public service or product between April 1, 1991 and December 11, 2007
- caregiving parents or caregiving grandparents of the children above may also be eligible for compensation
With respect to long-term reform of the First Nations Child and Family Services program, Parties are working hard at reaching a final settlement agreement to ensure a solid, reformed system to end the discrimination found by the Tribunal. On April 1, 2022, Canada implemented immediate measures to help reduce the number of First Nations children in care, and to provide additional supports to First Nations children, youth and families. These investments, amounting to approximately $2.7 billion to date, represent an 80% increase in funding from 2020-21. They include increased funding in all provinces and the Yukon Territory for prevention, for First Nations representative services, and for the expansion of post-majority care services for young adults formerly in care up to their 26th birthday.
In reaching a resolution on compensation and in continuing the work to reform the First Nations Child and Family Services program, the shared goal is to prioritize the well-being of First Nations children and their families. Canada stands with First Nation partners in the commitment to make sure that a better system is in place for current and future generations.