amiskwaciwâskahikan (Edmonton): Today the government of Canada requested a judicial review on a recent Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) ruling that ordered the government to compensate First Nation children and families who were discriminated against in the child welfare system. Assembly of First Nations Alberta Regional Chief Marlene Poitras issued the following statement on the matter:
“I am shocked and deeply disappointed by Canada’s decision to take this matter to the courts. The human rights tribunal was clear. Canada discriminated against First Nations children and families through wrongful apprehensions and denial of essential services. The CHRT found the discrimination to be so great that they ordered Canada to compensate those impacted with maximum amount allowable under the human rights act.
“It is unthinkable that Canada, once again, wants to take First Nations children and families to court in an attempt to reduce its accountability for the deep wounds inflicted on our communities. The far-reaching harm that this country’s genocidal policies have had on generations of First Nations children and families has been proven countless times. Canada must fully accept its responsibility and implement the tribunal’s decisions. We cannot move forward in a respectful partnership if historic and ongoing wrongs are not unequivocally accepted and corrected.
“Thousands of children and families in Alberta are impacted by this decision. My heart is with all those who no longer have the confidence they will receive justice for all that they’ve endured. I urge Canadians to join First Nations in demanding that government provide a just compensation for all Indigenous children who have been wrongfully taken away from their families and communities.”