A ruling from the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal on compensation to First Nations children, their parents or grandparents harmed by the removal of children from their homes and communities was released today, Sept. 6.
Per the Tribunal, compensation is required for:
- Each child, on reserve or in the Yukon, taken into care unnecessarily (removals that may have been prevented if adequate services were available) since Jan. 1, 2006.
- Each child, on reserve or in the Yukon, removed from their families then returned after Jan. 1, 2006.
- Each parent or grandparent caring for a child, on reserve or in the Yukon, who was unnecessarily removed since Jan. 1, 2006.
- Each child who was removed from their homes on reserve or in the Yukon due to abuse since Jan. 1, 2006, but were placed outside their extended families or communities and thus did not benefit from least disruptive measures.
- Each First Nations child on or off reserve who, as a result of a gap, delay and/or denial of services, was placed in care outside of their home, family and community in order to receive those services between Dec. 12, 2007 and Nov. 2, 2017.
- Each First Nations child on or off reserve who was not removed from their family home but was either denied services covered under Jordan's Principle as defined in 2017 CHRT 14 or 35 (for example, mental health, special education, dental etc.) or who received such services after an unreasonable delay or upon reconsideration ordered by the Tribunal.
- Each parent or grandparent who, as a result of a service gap, denial or delay, were denied essential services and had a child removed from the home between Dec. 12, 2007 and Nov. 2, 2017.
- Each parent or grandparent whose child was not removed from their home, but was denied services covered under Jordan's Principle or received such services after an unreasonable delay or upon reconsideration ordered by the Tribunal.
The parties have until Dec. 10, 2019 to develop a disbursement process.
The unnecessary removal of children, a breach of a “fundamental right”, is considered a worse case, and therefore victims are owed a maximum under the Canada Human Rights Act..
“No amount of compensation can ever recover what you have lost, the scars that are left on your souls or the suffering that you have gone through as a result of racism, colonial practices and discrimination,” the report reads.
Canada estimates that 44,682 children were in care between 2006 and 2017.
More on this story to come.