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World Canada reaches agreement to compensate indigenous children taken from families

13:58  05 january  2022
13:58  05 january  2022 Source:   cnn.com

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Canada announced on Tuesday two agreements totalling C billion (.5 billion) to compensate First Nations children who were taken from their families and put into the child welfare system and to reform the system that removed them and deprived them of services they needed. A student walks past a display at Hillcrest High School on Canada 's first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, honouring the lost children and survivors of Indigenous residential schools, their families and communities, in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada September 30, 2021.

The compensation decision affects some 55,000 children . The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruled in 2016 that the federal government allocated fewer funds for child and family services of Indigenous people than for others, pushing more Indigenous children into foster care. "The government of Canada is provisioning C billion to provide compensation and to commit the funds necessary to implement long-term reform so that future generations of First Nations children will never face the same systemic tragedies," said Indigenous Services Minister Patty Hajdu.

Canada announced on Tuesday two agreements totaling $31.5 billion (40 billion Canadian dollars) to compensate First Nations children who were taken from their families and put into the child welfare system and to reform the system that removed them and deprived them of services they needed.

A display at Hillcrest High School on Canada's first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, honoring the lost children and survivors of Indigenous residential schools, their families and communities, in Ottawa, the Canadian capital, on September 30, 2021. © BLAIR GABLE/REUTERS A display at Hillcrest High School on Canada's first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, honoring the lost children and survivors of Indigenous residential schools, their families and communities, in Ottawa, the Canadian capital, on September 30, 2021.

The agreements include $15.7 billion (20 billion Canadian dollars) for potentially hundreds of thousands of First Nations children who were removed from their families, who did not get services or who experienced delays in receiving services. Another $15.7 billion is to reform the system over the next five years.

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TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada announced on Tuesday it is entering into a pair of non-binding agreements totalling C billion (.5 billion) to compensate First Nations children harmed by a discriminatory child welfare system and to reform that system. The agreements in principle set a They include C billion for at least 55,000 First Nations children who were removed from their families , who did not get services they needed or whose access to services was delayed. Another C billion is for long-term reform over five years. The government last month said it was setting

Canada announced two agreements totaling C billion to compensate First Nations children who were taken from their families and put into the child welfare system and to reform the system that removed them and deprived them of services they needed.https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1536300/ canada - reaches - agreement - to - compensate - indigenous - children - taken - from - families ?utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Twitter#Echobox=.

The agreements come almost 15 years after the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society brought forward a human rights complaint.

The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal repeatedly found child and family services discriminated against First Nations children, in part by under-funding services on reserves. Children were then removed from their homes and taken off-reserve to get those services.

Canada admitted its systems were discriminatory but repeatedly fought orders to pay compensation and fund reforms, including an appeal it filed last year.


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Canada is also fighting a class-action lawsuit on behalf of First Nations children that the compensation agreement seeks to resolve.

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Thousands of mostly indigenous children were separated from their families and forced to attend residential schools between the 19th century and the 1990s. In 2007, the Caring Society and the Assembly of First Nations filed a human rights complaint alleging that Canada was discriminating against First Nations children and families who live on reserve by underfunding the delivery of child and family services. That practice resulted in many of the children entering foster care, they argued.

Canada has pledged up to Cbn (bn; £23.6bn) in compensation for indigenous children and families who suffered discrimination while in foster care. In September, a top court upheld a 2016 ruling that the government underfunded First Nations services compared with those for non- indigenous Until as recently as 1996, Canada 's residential school system separated indigenous children from their families and sent them to boarding schools where many were malnourished, beaten and sexually abused. The school system was part of attempts to assimilate indigenous children - forcing them to

Justice Minister David Lametti said Tuesday the government will drop its appeals once the agreements are finalized in the months ahead.

The reform deal includes $1,966.50 ($2,500 Canadian dollars) in preventive care per child and provisions for children in foster care to receive support beyond age 18.

Funding aimed at reform and preventive services should start flowing in April, but may not address the deep-rooted problems that the First Nation community faces, said Cindy Blackstock, executive director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society.

"I see it as words on paper," she told Reuters. "I judge victory when I can walk into a community and a child is able to say to me, 'My life is better than it was yesterday.' Nothing in these words actually changes children's lives until it's implemented."

Lawyer David Sterns, representing harmed First Nations children and families, said during a news conference that this would be the largest class-action settlement in Canada's history.

"The enormity of this settlement is due to one reason, and one reason only. And that is the sheer scope of the harm inflicted on class members," he said.

Indigenous Services Minister Patty Hajdu vowed to end discrimination against First Nations children, who are over-represented in foster care across Canada, at the news conference.

"Canada's decision and actions harmed First Nations children, families and communities," she said. "Discrimination caused intergenerational harm and losses. Those losses are not reversible. But I believe healing is possible."

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