OTTAWA, Dec. 9, 2016 /CNW/ - The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) is today expressing steadfast support for First Nations children as the Executive Director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society (the Society) is set to appear before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to call for action on the decision by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal to end discrimination in its provision of First Nations child and family services on reserve.
"The Assembly of First Nations stands steadfast in our call for justice and fairness for First Nations children," said AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde. "We support Dr. Cindy Blackstock and the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society in calling on the Government of Canada to act in the best interests of First Nations children. Neglecting to comply with multiple Canadian Human Rights Tribunal compliance orders and neglecting First Nations children is unacceptable. We will continue to fight for a better future for our children."
Dr. Blackstock will seek relief from the IACHR at their 160 Extraordinary Period of Sessions in Washington, D.C. over Canada's multiple non-compliance with orders from the Canadian Human Rights Commission to remedy discrimination against First Nations children. The complaint was jointly brought forward by the AFN and the Society.
The Brief of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society requests a Communication from the Inter-American Human Rights Commission to Canada to implement the decision of the Canadian Human Rights Commission through a number of measures, and to do so in consultation with the Society and with the Assembly of First Nations.
"It is deeply disappointing and disheartening that First Nations citizens still must call upon international human rights bodies such as he IACHR for relief from discriminatory laws and policies in Canada," said Grand Chief Ed John, Hereditary Chief of Tl'azt'en Nation. "The Assembly of First Nations will continue to fight for the rights and safety of First Nations children. Today we stand with Dr. Blackstock."
The Assembly of First Nations is co-plaintiff with the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society in the human rights complaint against Canada with the Canadian Human Rights Commission. On January 5th, 2016, the Canadian Human Rights Commission ruled that the Government of Canada's provision of First Nations Child and Family Services Program is discriminatory on the basis of race and national ethnic origin contrary to the Canadian Human Rights Act and international human rights law. Since the decision was issued there have been two further orders issued by the Commission regarding non-compliance by the Government of Canada.
The IACHR hearing is expected to be completed today and the outcome to be determined at a later date. The hearing is available via webcast at: http://www.oas.org/en/iachr/
For more information on the First Nations child welfare in Canada, please visit the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society website: https://fncaringsociety.com/main
The Assembly of First Nations is the national advocacy organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada. Follow AFN on Twitter @AFN_Updates
SOURCE Assembly of First Nations
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