On November 1, 2016 members of the House of Commons voted unanimously in favour of a motion to act immediately to improve child welfare services for First Nations children and families on reserves. The motion, introduced by NDP indigenous affairs critic Charlie Angus, called on the Liberal government to comply with a January ruling by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) which said that the Canadian government has discriminated against First Nations children and families by failing to provide the same level of child welfare services on reserves as provided elsewhere in Canada.
The NDP motion called for immediately increasing of $155 million to child welfare services on First Nations reserves, as well as: adopting Jordan’s principle; agreeing to comply completely with orders made by the CHRT; and making public documents relevant to the overhaul of the child welfare system and the implementation of Jordan’s Principle.
The Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies (OACAS) supports the full recommendations of the motion and welcomes the government’s commitment to provide additional resources and supports to on-reserve child welfare services. “The strengthening of child welfare services in First Nations communities will ensure children and families receive the culturally relevant support they need, where they need it most — at home, in their communities,” said Karen Hill, Director of Indigenous Services at OACAS.
For more about OACAS’s support of the CHRT ruling, click here.