On Wednesday, Canada's Federal Court approved a human rights tribunal ruling requiring the Canadian government to compensate indigenous children and families in foster care for being discriminated against on September 29, Canada.
The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal found in 2016 that the federal government allocated less money for indigenous people's child and family services than for non-indigenous people in 2016, bringing more indigenous children into foster care.
The Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appealed the tribunal's follow-up order in 2019 that Ottawa pay each affected child C$40,000 ($31,500), the maximum permitted under the Canadian Human Rights Act. The tribunal also stated that parents or grandparents of the children would be eligible for compensation, with some exceptions.
The tribunal's decision may cost the federal government billions of dollars.
Paul Favel, the federal court's justice, rejected the government'' requirements and encouraged the two parties to continue negotiating.
"The parties must decide whether or not to continue to sit beside the trail or move forward in this spirit of reconciliation," Favel explained, refering to an indigenous parable about a man sitting beside eagle for so long that it grows over and he loses his way.
Trudeau's government may appeal the court''d decision. His government has always said that, despite the fact that the human rights tribunal was correct in determining discrimination in the system, it overreached by imposing compensation.
In an emailed statement, minister for indigenous services, Marc Miller, stated, "The government is reviewing the decision and more information will be released."
"Canada remains committed to compensating First Nations children who were deported from their families and communities," he added.
Cindy Blackstock, executive director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, which brought the original complaint, stated the decision was "a complete rejection of all the government's blatant arguments and a total win for children."
After hundreds of unmarked graves were discovered at the sites of former residential schools, the Canadian government's legal battles with indigenous people have been hampered by increased scrutiny.
Jusqu' as recently as 1996, Canada's residential school system separated children from their families and sent them to boarding schools where they were malnourished, beaten, and sexually abused in what the country''S Truth and Reconciliation Commission called "cultural genocide" in 2015.
($1 = 1.27 Canadian dollars) ($1, = 1,27 dollar)