Tribunal orders Canada, again, to comply with its ruling on First Nation child welfare – APTN National News 20160915

Tribunal orders Canada, again, to comply with its ruling on First Nation child welfare

The federal government continues to drag its heels on fully complying with the landmark decision of Canadian Human Rights Tribunal in January that found Ottawa discriminates against First Nation children on-reserve.

The tribunal ruled for far too long the feds funded First Nation children living on-reserve less than non-Indigenous children off of reserve.

It gave the government a list of areas that needed to fixed and issued a compliance order.

They did so again in April.

On Thursday, the tribunal did so again.

“It rests on INAC and the federal government to implement the panel’s findings and orders, and to clearly communicate how it is doing so,” the tribunal said Thursday.

The tribunal said it’s unclear who the feds have consulted with in the Indigenous community address the gaps.

“INAC has previously acknowledged that it does not have expertise in the provision of child and family services to First Nations. Therefore, the need to consult with experts in the field, including the Caring Society, should be a priority,” the tribunal said, referring to Cindy Blackstock, executive director of First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada.

Blackstock, along with the Assembly of First Nations, were the ones who first brought the complaint against Ottawa about 10 years ago.

Blackstock said she was happy with the latest compliance order and was scheduled to hold a media conference in Ottawa Thursday afternoon.

The AFN also was happy the tribunal is keeping on the feds.

“But it is disappointing to see that Canada has to be pushed to respect human rights and end discrimination against First Nations children, said National Chief Perry Bellegarde. “Canada must be more transparent and work with us a on a better system to reform the federal First Nation child welfare program that is supported by fair funding based on real needs.”

The federal government is expected to release a statement later Thursday.