Ogichidaa Francis Kavanaugh says Federal Government Decision to Appeal Human Rights Ruling is Unacceptable: “Our children and our families have suffered enough”

Kenora, ON — Ogichidaa Francis Kavanaugh, Grand Chief of Treaty #3 is calling out Prime Minister’s decision to appeal a ruling that would compensate First Nations children and their families who were separated by a broken and discriminatory on-reserve child welfare system.

“The federal government’s actions are unacceptable. Our Anishinaabe children and families have been irreparably harmed by successive federal governments which refused to acknowledge the discrimination and provide fair and equitable funding for child welfare. All of our children are sacred gifts and our families have the right to access prevention and family preservation-based services which are funded appropriately,” said Ogichidaa Francis Kavanaugh. “Our children should never be treated in a discriminatory manner or be a pawn at the mercy of governments who fail to acknowledge the colonial legacy of the residential school, Sixties scoop and the child welfare system and the harm done to our citizens.”

On October 3, 2019 Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that his government would be seeking to appeal the September 6 ruling made by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal. The ruling ordered that the federal government provide compensation to First Nations children and their families who were separated by the underfunded on-reserve child welfare system from January 1, 2006 to a date to be determined by the tribunal. 

The Tribunal ordered the Federal government to compensate $40,000 to each child, the maximum allowed under the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal and also identified that funds be awarded to some of the parents and grandparents. The Federal government’s application for judicial review filed asks that the Tribunal’s decision be set aside and the claim for financial compensation be dismissed. 

“There are many ridings across Canada in which Indigenous voters can make a difference. All federal parties need to recognize that discrimination is unacceptable in 2019,” said said Ogichidaa Francis Kavanaugh. “Our Nation will continue to encourage all Indigenous citizens to vote and ask all of the federal parties and candidates to share how they will address our issues and priorities, especially for our children, families and our communities.”

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact: Office of the Ogichidaa, Kristine Reynard at (807) 548-4214 or Kristine.reynard@treaty3.ca