PM says he’ll apologize for First Nations little one welfare discrimination

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau plans to publicly apologize for the discrimination confronted by First Nations kids and their households due to the federal authorities’s little one welfare insurance policies, CBC Information has realized.

Trudeau outlined the federal government’s plan for the apology in a June 17 letter to Meeting of First Nations Nationwide Chief Cindy Woodhouse Nepinak.

“I affirm that the Authorities of Canada is dedicated to delivering a public apology for the discriminatory conduct … and the previous and ongoing hurt it prompted,” Trudeau wrote within the letter, obtained by CBC Information.

Trudeau says within the letter he is requested Indigenous Companies Minister Patty Hajdu and Justice Minister Arif Virani to steer consultations on the apology’s content material.

Hajdu’s workplace confirmed it is discussing with First Nations companions what the apology may seem like and what steps have to be taken earlier than it occurs.

“That is a necessary step on the trail to reconciliation,” stated Hajdu’s spokesperson Simon Ross.

The apology would fulfil one of many authorities’s commitments in a just lately finalized $23 billion settlement settlement that goals to offer compensation to First Nations folks affected by federal insurance policies that inspired the elimination of their kids.

Underneath the deal, greater than 300,000 First Nations kids and members of the family will every obtain tens of 1000’s of {dollars} as a result of Ottawa chronically and knowingly underfunded First Nations little one and household companies on reserves and within the Yukon.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau informed Meeting of First Nations Nationwide Chief Cindy Woodhouse (second proper) that Indigenous Companies Minister Patty Hajdu (second left) will lead consultations on a public apology. (Canadian Press/Justin Tang)

Federal attorneys will work with the settlement settlement attorneys and different First Nations companions to hunt their views on the apology’s content material, timing and venue.

Woodhouse Nepanik informed CBC Information she plans to ask Trudeau to apologize when Parliament resumes after its summer time break.

The settlement relies on a 2016 ruling from the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal that discovered Canada engaged in wilful and reckless discrimination in opposition to First Nations kids and households by failing to offer them with the identical stage of kid and household companies supplied elsewhere.

In 2019, the tribunal ordered Canada to pay the utmost human rights penalty of $40,000 per First Nations little one and member of the family.

Along with compensation, Ottawa additionally promised an extra $20 billion to reform First Nations little one and household companies insurance policies.

“Addressing the harms suffered by First Nations kids and households is on the coronary heart of the settlement and a significant step within the reconciliation course of,” Trudeau wrote.

“Canada is dedicated to the continued work to implement the ultimate settlement and to compensating First Nations kids and households.”

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