Canadian Human Rights Tribunal Approves $23.3 Billion in Compensation for First Nations Children

News Release   
July 31, 2023

Canadian Human Rights Tribunal Approves $23.3 Billion in Compensation for First Nations Children

(xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh)/Vancouver, B.C.)The First Nations Leadership Council (FNLC) welcomes the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal’s (Tribunal) ruling, supporting the revised First Nations Child and Family Services (FNCFS), Jordan’s Principle and Trout Class Settlement Agreement (revised FSA) of $23.3 billion dollars in compensation for all those who suffered Canada’s discrimination through the FNCFS program and Jordan’s Principle.

Regional Chief Terry Teegee for the British Columbia Assembly of First Nations stated: “I would like to extend my deep appreciation to the Tribunal, who would not approve a Final Settlement Agreement on compensation, until prior derogations were addressed, and all entitled victims received full compensation. While compensation will never make up for the indescribable harms experienced by our children, families, and communities, it represents a turning point in Canadian history, where the highest levels of colonially recognized authority systems must acknowledge and compensate for past wrongs, as well as address systemic issues. Recognition is also due to the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, specifically, Cindy Blackstock, who has championed this work for over a decade, as well as the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), specifically, Regional Chief Cindy Woodhouse for her ongoing time, energy, and efforts in leading this work, both of whom, alongside our people, would not settle until justice was served. Moving forward, we will continually call on federal, provincial, and territorial governments to honor, uphold, and implement the commitments they have made to our children and families, regardless of the politics of the day.”

While a $19.807 billion-dollar Final Settlement Agreement on Compensation was reached on June 30th, 2022, between the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), Canada, and the Moushoom/Trout representative plaintiffs, on October 24th, 2022, the Tribunal issued a letter-decision on October 24th, 2022, outlining that the proposed FSA did not meet all classes of victims/survivors and that categories of victims had been removed. Per the direction of First Nations-in-Assembly, negotiating parties reached a revised FSA, which was endorsed by First Nations-in-Assembly on April 4th, 2023.

Cheryl Casimer, First Nation Summit Political Executive stated: “I know for many, the release of the Tribunal’s Letter Decision, provided some much-needed encouragement and cause for celebration, amidst relentless child protection reform and resumption of jurisdiction work underway by our leaders and Nations. It reminds us to pause, celebrate our successes and acknowledge we are not alone in this fight for the justice of our children. It is my hope that the Federal Court expedites its decision on the revised FSA, and that with the claims process supported by the Tribunal, those entitled begin to receive compensation as soon as possible.”

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs stated: “For far too long, the imposition of colonial laws and bureaucratic systems have held chokeholds on us, our children, and our families, and were left to do so untethered, unabated, and unacknowledged. The revised Final Settlement Agreement and the Tribunal’s ruling advances broader recognition, both nationally and globally, of the heinous harms experienced by our people, at the hands of Canada. Acknowledgement and compensation are the first two steps, however, our fight for the recognition of our inherent rights and basic human rights regarding our children is far from over. We must ground and care for ourselves, as we continue to seek the safety and well-being of our children and families.”

The revised FSA was submitted to the Tribunal, after First Nations-in-Assembly endorsed the $23.3 billion dollar agreement, on April 3rd, 2023. It will now be submitted to the Federal Court for approval before any claims processes can begin. 


The First Nations Leadership Council is comprised of the political executives of the BC Assembly of First Nations (BCAFN), First Nations Summit (FNS), and the Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC).

For further information, contact:

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, UBCIC President             Phone: 250-490-5314
Cheryl Casimer, FNS Political Executive                     Phone: 778-875-2157
Annette Schroeter, BCAFN Communications Officer             Phone: 778-281-1655

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