OTTAWA, March 15 /CNW/ - Yesterday, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal
ruled to dismiss a 2007 complaint filed by the Assembly of First
Nations (AFN) and the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of
Canada (FNCFCSC) on discrimination caused by unequal funding for First
Nation children in the child welfare system.
AFN National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo stated: "We are very
disappointed with this ruling by the Tribunal which seems to suggest it
is acceptable for the federal government to treat our children
unequally and unfairly."
The Chair of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal dismissed the complaint
yesterday, based on a questionable legal basis which suggests that the
federal government can provide a different, and inequitable, level of
service to First Nations children so long as the provinces and
territories provide the service to all other children.
"We are reviewing the decision carefully and are going to consider all
options to ensure this complaint moves forward because this is first
and foremost about the welfare of First Nations children," the National
Chief said. "Our primary objective is ending the unequal treatment that
places them in harm's way. This issue is too important and needs to be
heard on its merits and not de-railed by technicalities and legal
The Tribunal ruling disregards numerous documents provided to the Chair
that confirm this inequality, including reports by the Auditor General
of Canada (2008), the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (2009) and
internal documents from the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs
The co-complainant in this case, the FNCFCSC, has already stated its
intention to appeal this decision within the next 30 days.
The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing
First Nations citizens in Canada.
SOURCE ASSEMBLY OF FIRST NATIONS
For further information:
Don Kelly, Assembly of First Nations A/Communications Director
613-241-6789 ext. 334 or cell: 613-292-2787 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Jenna Young, Assembly of First Nations Communications Officer
613-241-6789, ext 401 or cell: 613-314-8157 or e-mail email@example.com
Alain Garon, Assembly of First Nations Bilingual Communications Officer
613-241-6789, ext 382 or cell: 613 292-0857 or firstname.lastname@example.org