Feds accused of discriminatory underfunding for First Nations child welfare

The federal government of Canada was summoned to court Monday morning regarding the issue of funds for child welfare on First Nations.

The case was backed by the child welfare advocates; the Assembly of First Nations and the Canadian Human Rights Commission. They lay blame on the federal government of well thought-out and biased underfunding for child welfare.

The feds are accused of allocating notably modest funds for the children of First Nations as compared to the off-reserve kids regarding child and family services.

Executive director for the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada, Cindy Blackstock, said if the feds win this trial, there are high chances of First Nations communities becoming regions where human rights protections afforded to Canadians does not pertain.

Blackstock said: “If we’re unsuccessful in overturning the tribunal’s decision, then the Human Rights Act will fail to apply to First Nations people living on reserve — we’ll have a complete human rights vacuum.”

According to David Langtry of the human rights commission, First Nations’ success in this trial would mean they could request the courts to force Ottawa to match provincial funding in other areas like health and education.

“At the centre of this is kids currently in care — they’re in the highest risk situations and Canada seems to want to absolve themselves of any public accountability,” said Blackstock.

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