Timeline: Jordan's Principle and First Nations child and family services

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April 2022

As of April 1, 2022, Canada implemented enhancements to the First Nations Child and Family Services (FNCFS) program.

This includes funding for:

March 2022

On March 24, 2022, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) released an order (2022 CHRT 8), in response to an agreement by Canada and the Parties regarding services for First Nations children.

Key measures in the CHRT consent order include:

January 2022

On January 18, 2022, the CHRT amended its November 2021 orders on funding capital assets to support the delivery of the FNCFS program and Jordan's Principle (2021 CHRT 41).

For more information on how to request funding:

On January 4, 2022, the Government of Canada and the parties announced that agreements-in-principle were reached on compensation for First Nations children removed from their homes and those impacted by the government's narrow definition of Jordan's Principle, as well as long-term reform of the First Nations Child and Family Services program.

To learn more about the agreements-in-principle:

November 2021

On November 16, 2021, the CHRT released final reasons for its August 26 letter-decision orders on funding capital assets related to First Nations child and family services and Jordan's Principle (2021 CHRT 41).

October 2021

On October 29, 2021, the Government of Canada and the parties, namely the Assembly of First Nations, the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, the Chiefs of Ontario, Nishnawbe-Aski Nation and Moushoom counsel, announced that they had agreed to work towards reaching a global resolution by December 2021 on outstanding issues that have been the subject of litigation.

This includes matters related to the September 29, 2021, decision by the Federal Court regarding compensation to First Nations children and eligibility for Jordan's Principle, as well as other issues.

To find out more:

September 2021

On September 29, 2021, the federal court issued a decision dismissing the Government of Canada's applications to judicially review the CHRT's orders on:

To find out more, consult the summary by the federal court or the full decision.

August 2021

On August 26, 2021, the CHRT released an interim letter-decision containing orders related to funding capital assets for:

March 2021

On March 12, 2021, the Government of Canada filed its written submissions before the Federal Court in support of 2 applications for judicial review of the CHRT rulings rendered in September 2019, July 2020 and November 2020.

These rulings relate to compensation and the definition of a First Nations child for the purposes of Jordan's Principle eligibility.

To find out more:

February 2021

On February 11 and 12, 2021, the CHRT released decisions (2021 CHRT 6 and 2021 CHRT 7) awarding compensation to First Nations children and certain family members who:

The February 2021 decisions approve the final compensation framework that Canada and the parties to the complaint developed and submitted to the CHRT on December 23, 2020.

December 2020

On December 22, 2020, the Government of Canada filed a notice of application for judicial review of the CHRT's decision of July 17, 2020 (2020 CHRT 20), and its decision of November 25, 2020 (2020 CHRT 36), regarding Jordan's Principle eligibility. The orders remain in force pending the outcome of the judicial review. To find out more, visit:

On December 23, 2020, the parties submitted the final version of the compensation framework to obtain a final consent order on the issue of the compensation process.

November 2020

On November 25, 2020, the CHRT released a decision (2020 CHRT 36) about eligibility for services for First Nations children under Jordan's Principle.

To find out who is now eligible under Jordan's Principle, visit Who is covered.

October 2020

On October 2, 2020, Canada and the parties to the complaint before the CHRT submitted a draft compensation process to the CHRT for consideration.

August 2020

On August 11, 2020, the CHRT issued a ruling (2020 CHRT 24) in response to a motion brought by the Chiefs of Ontario (COO). This ruling reiterates its order that Canada fund band representative services for Ontario First Nations, tribal councils or First Nations child and family services agencies at actual cost of providing those services, retroactively to January 26, 2017, within 15 business days after receipt of the documentation of expenses.

As the ruling ordered, Canada has cooperated with the COO, and those parties designated by the COO, to communicate to First Nations or their recipients that the previously stated deadline no longer firmly applies.

The CHRT also reiterated its 2018 CHRT 4 order that Canada continue to accept submissions and make reimbursements for band representative services and children and youth's mental health services on an ongoing basis, without imposing an inflexible deadline.

July 2020

The CHRT issued a ruling (2020 CHRT 20) regarding who is eligible to receive services under Jordan's Principle. The CHRT asked the Government of Canada and the parties to consult together and bring back to the tribunal by October 19, 2020:

To find out who is now eligible under Jordan's Principle, visit Who is covered.

January 2020

A proposed class action was filed by the Assembly of First Nations in Federal Court in addition to an initial proposed class action filed in March 2019 (Moushoom), seeking compensation for First Nations children and families affected by Canada's funding regime under the child and family services system and the narrow interpretation of Jordan's Principle.

Following extensive engagement with partners, An Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families (the act) came into force on January 1, 2020.

The act:

To find out more about the act, visit:

November 2019

The Federal Court issued its ruling in response to two motions relating to the September 6, 2019, CHRT decision (2019 CHRT 39) on compensation for First Nations children and families:

The Federal Court dismissed both motions.

In accordance with the September 6, 2019, CHRT decision, Canada and the parties to the CHRT litigation developed a process for compensation.

September 2019

The CHRT ruled in favour of individual compensation for children and family members affected by the underfunding of the First Nations Child and Family Services (FNCFS) program and those that did not receive services or experienced unreasonable delays in the receipt of services due to the previous narrow interpretation of Jordan's Principle (2019 CHRT 39).

April 2019

The Caring Society filed submissions requesting compensation based on the 2016 finding of the CHRT of discrimination.

March 2019

The Moushoom proposed class action was filed in Federal Court to seek compensation from Canada for First Nations children and families affected by the child and family services system and the narrow interpretation of Jordan's Principle.

February 2019

The CHRT issued an interim motion order in regard to eligibility for federal funding under Jordan's Principle for non-status First Nations children recognized by their nation living off a reserve who have urgent or life-threatening needs (2019 CHRT 7).

January 2019

The CHRT issued a ruling (2019 CHRT 1) regarding Canada's obstruction of process and Canada's disclosure processes and obligations.

February 2018

In February 2018, the tribunal issued a ruling (2018 CHRT 4) ordering Indigenous Services Canada to pay the actual costs for First Nations agencies in providing:

Canada must continue to pay the actual costs until certain events have occurred, such as the implementation of an alternative funding system.

This ruling also included two orders related to mental health and Jordan's Principle. The orders included cost analysis of the real needs of First Nations agencies, such as:

Canada was required to:

January 2018

An emergency meeting on First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nation child and family services was held in Ottawa with Indigenous partners, provincial and territorial ministers, youth representatives (including youth with lived experience), experts and advocates.

Canada committed to 6 points of action to reform First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nation child and family services.

2017

The CHRT issued a third set of compliance orders on May 26, 2017 (2017 CHRT 14), later amended on November 2, 2017 (2017 CHRT 35), that Jordan's Principle is based on the following key principles:

March 2017

As ordered in 2017 CHRT 7 on March 22, 2017, Health Canada committed to establishing the Choose Life Working Group with Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) aimed at setting out a concrete, simplified process for communities to apply for A Child First Initiative (Jordan's Principle) funding.

A streamlined fast track pilot application process was put in place for NAN communities with children and youth at risk of suicide. This process was intended to begin to address the gaps in mental health services for First Nations children and youth and allow NAN communities to begin to develop their own in-community services to prevent the loss of their youth.

September 2016

The CHRT issued a second remedial order (2016 CHRT 16) that the federal government is to cease applying its narrow definition of Jordan's Principle and to provide a compliance report to confirm that Canada is applying the principle to all First Nations children, not just those residents on reserve or those with a disability or short-term issue.

It also ordered Canada not to decrease funding based on services covered by Jordan's Principle.

April 2016

The CHRT issued a remedial order (2016 CHRT 10) that Jordan's Principle includes all jurisdictional disputes, including between federal departments, and includes all First Nations children and not only those with multiple disabilities.

The government organization first contacted pays for the service without the need for policy review or case conferencing before funding is provided.

The CHRT also ordered Canada to report on actions taken to reform the FNCFS program.

January 2016

The CHRT ordered Canada to cease its discriminatory practices and reform the FNCFS program and the Canada-Ontario Memorandum of Agreement Respecting Welfare Programs for Indians (the 1965 Agreement) to reflect the findings in the decision.

The CHRT also ordered Canada "to cease applying its narrow definition of Jordan's Principle and to take measures to immediately implement the full meaning and scope of Jordan's Principle." (2016 CHRT 2)

2016

The 2008 federal response focused on jurisdictional disputes involving First Nations children living on reserve with multiple disabilities requiring services from multiple service providers, and as a result of this narrow scope, no Jordan's Principle cases were identified.

Requests for services that came forward were managed through federal or provincial contacts and services provided through existing programs.

2015

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission releases its final report. Call to Action #3 calls on "all levels of government to fully implement Jordan's Principle."

August 2007

The Government of Canada announced $11 million in new funding to Health Canada for the implementation of Jordan's Principle to be administered by the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch. This implementation focused on jurisdictional disputes involving First Nations children living on reserve with multiple disabilities requiring services from multiple service providers.

December 2007

On December 12, Private Member's Motion No. 296 in support of Jordan's Principle was passed with unanimous support in the House of Commons in honour of Jordan River Anderson. "The government should immediately adopt a child-first principle, based on Jordan's Principle, to resolve jurisdictional disputes involving the care of First Nations children."

February 2007

The Assembly of First Nations and the Caring Society filed a complaint before the Canadian Human Rights Commission alleging that pursuant to section 5 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada discriminated in the provision of child and family services to First Nations on reserve and in the Yukon, on the basis of race, national or ethnic origin, by providing inequitable and insufficient funding for those services.

The implementation of Jordan's Principle was identified as a solution to jurisdictional disputes as part of this complaint.

2005

At the age of 5, Jordan River Anderson, a First Nations child from Norway House Cree Nation in Manitoba, died in the hospital while the provincial and federal governments could not agree on who was financially responsible for his home care in a medical foster home.

The Caring Society released the Wen:De reports, among the policy recommendations was the concept of Jordan's Principle, a child-first principle to ensure that services for First Nations children are not delayed due to jurisdictional disputes.

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