During the coronavirus pandemic, Jordan's Principle continues to help First Nations children living in Canada access the products, services and supports they need. This can include, for example, laptops, tablets or other e-learning tools, if they meet an identified health, education or social need. At this time, professionals may not be available to provide supporting documents normally required to complete a request. We will take this into account when we review your request. In some cases, we will accept emails from professionals or documents can be provided later in the process. To find out more, contact your regional focal point. For support and up-to-date information on COVID-19, speak with your First Nation's leadership or visit COVID-19 and Indigenous communities.
On November 29, 2019, the Federal Court issued its ruling in response to 2 motions relating to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruling on compensation for First Nations children and families.
On July 17, 2020, the tribunal asked the Government of Canada and the parties to consult together and bring back to the tribunal by October 19, 2020:
- further clarification on the definition of a First Nations child for eligibility under Jordan's Principle (a definition that does not limit eligibility for First Nations children off reserve to just those children with status or recognition by their self-government Nation)
- a mechanism to identify citizens or members of First Nations in regards to Jordan's Principle eligibility
At this time, Indigenous Services Canada is in the process of reviewing the ruling, with more information to come. To find out who's covered under Jordan's Principle, including eligibility related to the implementation of Bill S-3, visit Who is covered.
Jordan's Principle makes sure all First Nations children living in Canada can access the products, services and supports they need, when they need them. Funding can help with a wide range of health, social and educational needs, including needed supports for First Nations LGBTQ and Two-Spirit youth.
Jordan's Principle is named in memory of Jordan River Anderson. He was a young boy from Norway House Cree Nation in Manitoba.
Requests for Inuit children can be made through the Inuit Child First Initiative.
Helping First Nations children
A legal rule
In 2016, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) determined the Government of Canada's approach to services for First Nations children was discriminatory. One way we are addressing this is through a renewed approach to Jordan's Principle.
Since the ruling, the CHRT has issued a number of follow-up orders about Jordan's Principle. In May 2017, the CHRT ordered that the needs of each individual child must be considered, to ensure the following is taken into account under Jordan's Principle:
- substantive equality
- providing culturally appropriate services
- safeguarding the best interests of the child
This means giving extra help when it is needed so First Nations children have an equal chance to thrive.
What we are doing
We are supporting children who need help right away and are making long-term changes for the future, such as through reforming child and family services.
For the long-term, we are working to build better structures and funding models. These will make sure First Nations children living in Canada get the products, services and supports they need, when they need them. To do this, we are working closely with:
- First Nations partners
- service organizations
Since 2016, the Government has made available $679.9 million to Jordan's Principle to help with health, social and education services that are needed right away.
Local service coordinators have been hired in communities across Canada. They can help families who:
- have questions about Jordan's Principle
- would like to submit a request for products, services or supports under Jordan's Principle
We fund these coordinators, who are staffed by:
- local tribal councils
- First Nations communities
- regional health authorities
- First Nations non-governmental organizations, etc.
We also have staff across the country dedicated full-time to Jordan's Principle. They work closely with the local coordinators to make sure all requests are processed as quickly as possible.
- Honouring Jordan River Anderson
- CHRT definition of Jordan's Principle
- Video: Jordan's Principle: Making sure First Nations children can get the services they need
- Video: Jordan's Principle Youth Public Service Announcements (developed and made available by the First Nations Child & Family Caring Society of Canada)
- Jordan's Principle Handbook (developed and made available by the Assembly of First Nations)