“Jordan’s Principle is a Child First Principle named in memory of Jordan River Anderson, a First Nations Child from Norway House. Born with complex medical needs, Jordan spent over two-years unnecessarily in the hospital because the provincial and federal governments could not agree on who should pay for his at-home care. Jordan died in the hospital after never having spent a day in his family home.”
-Dr. Cindy Blackstock, Executive Director, Caring Society.
A legal rule
In 2016, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) determined the Government of Canada's approach to services for First Nations children was discriminatory. One way we are addressing this is through a renewed approach to Jordan's Principle.
Since the ruling, the CHRT has issued a number of follow-up orders about Jordan's Principle. In May 2017, the CHRT ordered that the needs of each individual child must be considered, to ensure the following is taken into account under Jordan's Principle:
- substantive equality
- providing culturally appropriate services
- safeguarding the best interests of the child
This means giving extra help when it is needed so First Nations children have an equal chance to thrive.
Jordan’s Principle is a national initiative that seeks to ensure children who are First Nations have access to supports they may need. Although it is not to duplicate services, it applies to any type of need to any First Nations child regardless of where they live. In the words of Dr. Cindy Blackstock of the Caring Society, it is every First Nations child…everywhere. In Manitoba, and only in Manitoba, there are community-based teams in nearly every First Nation across the province. Jordan’s Principle programming applies to children between the ages 0 and 18 years old. Jordan’s Principle is about ensuring that the rights of First Nations children are not being violated. It is to make sure that, at a minimum, First Nations children have access to the same supports as other children. It also means that education, health, mental wellness, child and family services work hand-in-hand to make sure the needs of the child are met.
To read the third non-compliance order from the Human Rights Tribunal visit this link.
Richard Dumas, Tribal Service Coordinator
Bobbie Dettanikkeaze, Administrative Assistant
Melinda Brooker, Intake Coordinator
Steve Berens, Off-Reserve Case Manager
Nicole Strocen, Off-Reserve Case Manager
VACANT, Off-Reserve Case Manager
Curtis Garson, Recreation/Land Base Coordinator
Avery Bighetty, Respite Worker
Kara Williams-Thomas, Respite Worker
Kyle Tanner, Regional Database Coordinator