OTTAWA, Dec. 12, 2017 /CNW/ - The Minister of Indigenous Services, Jane Philpott, issued the following statement today:
"Today marks ten years since the House of Commons passed a motion on Jordan's Principle and committed to ensuring First Nations children can access the government services they need, when they need them.
The motion was named in honour of Jordan River Anderson, a First Nations child from Manitoba who needed medical care from birth. For three years he could have received his care in a home environment if the federal and provincial governments had agreed on who was responsible for payment. Jordan unfortunately passed away in hospital in 2005.
Jordan's Principle is in place to ensure that no First Nations child goes through what Jordan did.
In 2016, our government took action to implement Jordan's Principle, something that was not being done until then. The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal has ruled that the Government of Canada must comply in implementing this principle, and our government is doing so. We are committed to working with all parties of the case before the Tribunal to work towards solutions out of court proceedings.
Local coordinators are now available in communities across Canada to help First Nations children access services under Jordan's Principle. We also have Government of Canada staff in all regions who are dedicated full-time to implementing Jordan's Principle. They work closely with the local coordinators to make sure all requests for services get processed as quickly as possible.
We are working with First Nations partners and communities, as well as provinces and territories, to build a better health care structure and funding model for First Nations children over the long-term. To help with services needed right away, a fund of $382.5 million has been set up under the "Jordan's Principle: A Child-First Initiative" to cover health, social and education services from 2016 to 2019.
Since 2016, more than 99% of the requests received under Jordan's Principle have been approved, totalling over 29,000 requests for services and supports. This includes mental health supports, medical equipment, speech therapy, educational supports, and more.
We have made significant progress to helping First Nations children access the services they need, but much more work still needs to be done. We will not rest until every First Nations child in Canada can access the services they need without delays and has true equality with all other Canadian children. There is no simple solution. We must continue to collaborate with our partners and remain focussed on keeping the best interests of First Nations children as our top priority.
If a First Nations child is not receiving the services and supports they need, families are encouraged to contact us at 1-800-567-9604."
SOURCE Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
For further information: Media may contact: Andrew MacKendrick, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Jane Philpott, 819-956-5372; Media Relations, Indigenous Services Canada, 819-953-1160