Dakelh Territory, Prince George, British Columbia. Canada. – The Carrier Sekani Tribal Council (CSTC) is pleased with the decision handed down today by the Federal Court of Canada which agreed with the plaintiffs, the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society (FNCFCS) and the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), had a legitimate complaint that the government of Canada is putting First Nations at more risk by underfunding child services on reserve. This landmark decision directs the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal to examine evidence that First Nations children are being discriminated against by the federal government.
The complaint alleges that the government of Canada under-funds child welfare services for on-reserve First Nations children. Furthermore, they say that the result of this under-funding is that the level of some of the services provided for children on reserve is inadequate, and that similar services available to Canadian children off reserve are not available to First Nations children living on reserves. This is a form of discrimination being supported by the federal government against First Nations children.
Tribal Chief David Luggi stated, “Clearly, Judge Mactavish made a correct ruling and First Nations have a legitimate case in that the Government of Canada is not living up to their fiduciary duty.” Luggi added, “This case is so important for our children’s future, especially considering the fact that there are more children in child welfare care than there were in the height of residential schools tragedy.”
Vice Tribal Chief Terry Teegee stated, “First Nations have always been inadequately funded for on-reserve services and this has resulted in third world living conditions for our people.” Teegee concluded, “We congratulate FNCFCS executive director Cindy Blackstock on this important victory for our children and we hope that this is a new beginning for our at risk children on reserves.”
Luggi stated, “Our children are the most important resource for the survival of our culture and heritage. This ruling will give us our day in court and prove that the Canadian federal government discriminates against our people.”
For more information contact:
Tribal Chief David Luggi, office (250) 562-6279 ext. 222, cell (250) 640-6622
Vice Tribal Chief Terry Teegee, office (250) 562-6279 ext. 223, cell (250) 640-3256