Changes To Jordan's Principle to Become More Inclusive for Indigenous Children
Indigenous Canada

Changes To Jordan’s Principle to Become More Inclusive for Indigenous Children

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Canada has approved over 750,000 products for first nations under Jordan’s Principle

Every child deserves access to services like health care and supports at school. Closing the gaps in health, social services and education for First Nations children and families are top priorities for the Government of Canada.

Since July 2016, Canada has approved over 750,000 products, services and support for First Nations children under Jordan’s Principle. the Canadian Government has been committed to working with communities to ensure that First Nations children can access the products, services and supports they need, when and where they need them.

To this end, the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Indigenous Services, announced today that Canada will expand eligibility under Jordan’s Principle to children who are recognized as members by their nation regardless of where they live in Canada on an ongoing basis. This work is being undertaken as a direct response to the July and November 2020, Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) orders regarding Jordan’s Principle eligibility, which Canada has been fully implementing since November 25, 2020.

However, the Government of Canada has filed a notice of application for judicial review of the Tribunal’s decision. The Tribunal’s decision was made without broad participation of First Nations communities and is a clear overreach of the Tribunal’s jurisdiction. The legal issues around the scope of the Tribunal’s authority to issue these decisions are important ones on which we seek further guidance from the Federal Court.

“For far too long, First Nations children have not had the same opportunities to thrive as other children in our country. The tireless work of First Nations advocates, and the honoured memory of Jordan River Anderson, tells us that we must do better. That is why we are taking these steps to make meaningful changes to Jordan’s Principle to help more First Nations children access the supports they need.” The Marc Miller Minister of Indigenous Services 

Deciding who belongs to a First Nation community is complex and Canada will work with First Nations in making those decisions and implementing the community acceptance aspect of this order. The expanded eligibility for Jordan’s Principle for children recognized by their nations will remain in effect regardless of the outcome of the judicial review.

For children who are not eligible to be registered but have one parent/guardian that is eligible to be registered, Canada continues to engage with First Nations partners with regard to the second-generation cut-off under the Indian Act and eligibility for a range of programs and services offered by the Government of Canada.

Parents and guardians should continue to submit requests to Jordan’s Principle to obtain products, services and supports to address the unmet health, social and educational needs of First Nations children, under any of the four eligibility criteria in the November 25, 2020, order. The Government of Canada will continue to meet all its obligations and ensure that First Nations children receive the care and services they need.

While we continue to provide support to First Nations children through Jordan’s Principle, we will continue to work with First Nations partners, and provinces and territories to develop longer-term measures to help better address the unique health, social, and education needs of First Nations children.

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