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Ottawa adds $3.4B to $20B First Nations child welfare compensation deal

ottawa adds 3 4b to 20b first nations child welfare compensation deal

The federal government is adding $3.4 billion to its $20 billion offer for First Nations child welfare compensation, says the Assembly of First Nations and the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada.

The organizations issued a press release Monday announcing the new $23 billion deal, which they say covers victims who were shortchanged by and excluded from the initial agreement finalized between Ottawa and the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) last year.

The new agreement includes about 13,000 more children who were put in a foster care placements that were not funded by Indigenous Services Canada, the estates of deceased parents and children, and caregivers denied essential services under a policy known as Jordan’s Principle.

Under the renegotiated deal, each of these individuals is expected to receive $40,000 plus interest. 

It covers approximately 300,000 First Nations children, youth and families.

This development comes after the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rejected Ottawa’s initial agreement last fall since it did not compensate all victims covered under its human rights orders.

The move also follows mounting pressure from the Caring Society’s executive director Cindy Blackstock and the AFN. 

They adopted a unified front at last December’s special chiefs assembly in Ottawa after Blackstock raised concerns about the deal

Their news was released just hours before the start of another AFN special chiefs meeting in the nation’s capital.

The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal must green-light the renegotiated agreement before it can be sent to the Federal Court for final approval.