This year, the Canadian government agreed to pay a $32 billion USD settlement, its largest ever, over the poor treatment of Indigenous children.
Lawyer David Sterns, representing harmed First Nations children and families, said that the “enormity of this settlement is due to one reason: the sheer scope of the harm inflicted on class members.” That harm includes countless children being denied basic services to help with food and housing, and therapy to address multigenerational trauma. Instead of families receiving the help they needed, hundreds of thousands of First Nations children were removed from their homes and placed in the welfare system.
According to 2016 Canadian census data, Indigenous kids make up less than 8% of children under the age of 15, but they accounted for more than 50% of all kids in foster care. The landmark settlement will be split between the impacted families and ensuring the long-term reform of the First Nations Children and Family Services over the next five years.