Jurisdictional disputes between the federal government and provincial governments over health services for First Nations children have resulted in many negative outcomes to these same children. This evening’s lecturers will discuss the 2007 adoption of Jordan’s Principle by the federal government and its positive implication for Pictou Landing First Nation. Under this child-first principle, the government of first contact is required to pay for the services needed by a First Nations child and seek reimbursement later to ensure that the child doesn’t get caught in the middle of government red tape.
CINDY BLACKSTOCK is the Executive Director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada (Caring Society), who filed a human rights complaint against the federal government in 2007 (along with the Assembly of First Nations). The complaint alleges that Canada’s failure to provide equitable and culturally based child welfare services to First Nations children and its failure to properly implement Jordan’s Principle on-reserve amounts to discrimination on the basis of race and ethnic origin. The Final Ruling can be expected by April 2015.
Jordan's Principle had never been implemented in Canada until the historic ruling by the Supreme Court in 2012 after PHILIPPA PICTOU (Pictou Landing) and Jeremy’s mother brought the issue to court, which resulted in reimbursement for all costs associated with caring for Jeremy while off-reserve. The court victory has had widespread implications for similar cases and could also potentially open up similar cases in social and health services in which First Nations people tend to fall through jurisdictional cracks.
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