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Canada is set to compensate Indigenous children for ‘historic injustices’

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The Canadian Government is set to compensate a total of C$40 billion to Indigenous children and families in foster care for ‘historic injustices’. 55,000 children will be compensated, and the payouts will begin once a lawsuit is settled. The compensation is set to address the long-term health, education and social welfare needs of Indigenous children within the nation. 

Specifically, the compensation will be given to children and families who were put into foster care, and experienced abuse and were separated from their families, communities and culture.  

According to a 2016 Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruling, the Canadian Government allocated less child and family services to Indigenous children compared to non-Indigenous children, which led to more Indigenous children entering the foster care system. The ruling ordered the Government to pay C$40,000 to each child that was in the on-reserve welfare system. However, the Government appealed the ruling. 

The decision by the Government to appeal the ruling came under scrutiny this year, when hundreds of unmarked graves of Indigenous children were discovered on the properties of former residential schools.  

Around 150,000 Indigenous children were forced to attend state-funded boarding schools, known as residential schools that ran from 1874 to 1996. The purpose of the schools was to “assimilate” the children into Canadian society. Children were not allowed to speak their own languages, were isolated from their families and cultures, and abuse was rife within the schools.

Around 150,000 Indigenous children were forced to attend state-funded boarding schools, known as residential schools that ran from 1874 to 1996. The purpose of the schools was to “assimilate” the children into Canadian society. Children were not allowed to speak their own languages, were isolated from their families and cultures, and abuse was rife within the schools.

“The government of Canada is provisioning C$40 billion to provide compensation and to commit the funds necessary to implement long-term reform so that future generations of First Nations children will never face the same systemic tragedies.” — Indigenous Services Minister Patty Hajdu. 

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