Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs

January 4, 2022

“This historic settlement, of $40 billion dollars, has been a long time coming,” said AFN Manitoba Regional Chief Cindy Woodhouse today in Ottawa. “First Nations from across Canada have had to work very hard for this day. Since we launched the case before the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal over a decade ago, and prior, the Assembly of First Nations has pressed the federal government to provide redress for monumental wrongs against First Nations children, wrongs fuelled by an inherently biased system.” She added that discriminatory funding and other decisions has led to a massive over-apprehension of First Nations children into the child welfare system in every province and territory.
“Every day for decades, First Nations children, some even newborns, have been ripped from their families and communities, and many denied medical services and other supports when they’ve needed them, all at the hands of a federal child welfare program that should have protected them,” said Regional Chief Woodhouse. “This wasn’t and isn’t about parenting. It’s about poverty, and First Nations children being removed from their families and communities instead of being provided food, clothing or shelter. We have a long way to go to address the poverty in our nations and no amount of money will ever be the ‘right amount’, nor will it bring back a childhood lost, but today is about acknowledgement, about being seen and heard. Today is about a plan for the future with First Nations defining and determining a path forward grounded in our rights and the common goal to have our children succeed.”