Tribunal to rule if government discriminated against First Nations children

OTTAWA - The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal is set to determine if the federal government has discriminated against children on reserves.

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The quasi-judicial body is expected to publish its ruling this morning related to a 2007 complaint from the Assembly of First Nations and The First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada.

It argued the federal government has failed to provide First Nations children the same level of services that exist elsewhere, contrary to the Canadian Human Rights Act.

The society's executive director Cindy Blackstock says the government's own documents show it underfunds services between 22 per cent and 38.5 per cent - compared with what other children receive across the country.

Child welfare was among the central issues flagged in the report by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which spent six years delving into the painful residential school system that operated from the 1870s to 1996.

The report called on all levels of government to reduce the number of aboriginal children taken into care by providing adequate resources for communities and child-welfare organizations.



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