Contributed by Maya Gunnarsson
The McGill Journal of Law and Health and the Indigenous Law Association at McGill Blog are collaborating on our blogs this year, in order to connect our readers with more content at the crossroads of health law, and Indigenous law and legal traditions. You can find this article cross-posted on their website.
The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal released their latest decision in First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada et al. v. Attorney General of Canada (representing the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada) in September 2019. This ruling was the 9th issued by the Tribunal since 2016, when they found the Caring Society’s allegations that Canada was discriminating against First Nations children in their provision of child and family services were substantiated.
“This ruling is dedicated to all the First Nations children, their families and communities who were harmed by the unnecessary removal of children from your homes and your communities. The Panel desires to acknowledge the great suffering that you have endured as victims/survivors of Canada’s discriminatory practices.”
Caring Society v. Canada, 2019 CHRT 39 at para 13.
The purpose of this ruling was to determine the compensation Canada would be ordered to pay due to their discriminatory practices. More broadly, however, this decision attempted to bring justice to an extremely vulnerable group of people who have historically been denied access to justice through Canadian institutions. Since the initial ruling in 2016, the Tribunal had issued multiple remedial orders against Canada, finding that they were continuing to discriminate, and giving clear orders on what the federal government needed to do to comply with its 2016 decision. While the federal government may have been dragging its heels, the Tribunal firmly took a step towards reconciliation in Canada with this decision. Continue reading “First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada v. Canada, 2019 CHRT 39”