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A final ruling from the Canadian Human Rights tribunal following a case presented by the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society has decided to give First Nations families separated or affected by a “chronically underfunded welfare system,” roughly $2 billion in reparation payments.
“The Caring Society is also aware of the significant and complex assessment processes required to administer and deliver individual compensation. Best estimates suggest that an order for individual compensation for those taken into out-of-home care could affect 44,000 to 54,000 people,” the Human Rights Tribunal ruling reads.
In the ruling, The Caring Society has asked for $20,000 plus interest be paid out to First Nations who were separated from their parents, or experienced other abuses or discrimination by the Canadian government.
“The Tribunal’s finding that Canada wilfully and recklessly discriminated against First Nations children demonstrates how little Canada learned from the residential school and the 60’s scoop apologies and class actions,” said Cindy Blackstock, executive director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society.
“They knew better and did not do better resulting in tragedy for another generation of First Nations children, families and Nations.”
According to Global News, the maximum damages that can be paid out to a single individual is $40,000. As this payment will be going to between 44,000 to 54,000 people, the expected cost for taxpayers will be at least $1.76 billion, but will likely be well over $2 billion.
“We must demand Canada stop its piecemeal approach to remedying cross cutting inequalities in First Nations public services by fully implementing the Spirit Bear plan to end all of the inequalities once and for all,” said Blackstock.
According to APTN News, those eligible for compensation will include many children living on reserves in the Yukon who were unnecessarily taken into care or otherwise removed from the home due to abuse since 2006.