In September 2022, the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) sought approval of a Final Settlement Agreement (FSA) on compensation at the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT). The CHRT issued a letter decision in October 2022, followed by a full decision in December 2022, that stated the FSA substantially met its 2019 orders on compensation, however, did not fully satisfy these orders. As a result, the Parties to the Class Action and the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada (Caring Society) returned to the negotiation table to reach a revised agreement that satisfied the CHRT’s orders on compensation.
In April 2023, the AFN presented the FSA on compensation, now valued at over $23.34 billion, to the AFN First Nations-in-Assembly for review and endorsement. On April 4, 2023, the First Nations-in-Assembly unanimously approved the FSA via AFN Resolution 04/2023, Revised Final Settlement Agreement on Compensation for First Nations Children and Families. See the AFN Resolution here.
The FSA is intended to compensate First Nations children and families who experienced discrimination due to Canada’s underfunding of the First Nations Child and Family Services (FNCFS) Program and narrow application of Jordan’s Principle. See the FSA here.
On July 26, 2023, the CHRT issued a Letter Decision announcing the approval of the revised FSA. The landmark agreement, totalling over $23.34 billion, will compensate more than 300,000 First Nations children and families who experienced discrimination through the FNCFS Program and narrow application of Jordan’s Principle. See the Decision here.
The goal of the Parties to the FSA is to ensure that our children and families receive the compensation they deserve, as soon as possible. We are hopeful that the application process for the survivors and victims to receive compensation will be open in 2024.
Several more legal steps must take place before compensation will be distributed, including seeking approval of the Federal Court of Canada. A distribution protocol will be developed to outline specifics on who will be eligible for compensation and how they can apply, which also must be approved by the Federal Court.
The AFN acknowledges the victims and survivors of Canada’s discrimination for the courage and perseverance they have demonstrated throughout this process, in particular, the Representative Plaintiffs who have stood up on behalf of all eligible class members to pursue long-overdue recognition. The AFN also acknowledges those who have passed on to the Spirit World, including Jordan River Anderson, the founder of Jordan’s Principle who died before receiving the justice he deserved.
Please note: Compensation is not available yet. More information will be available after Federal Court approval.