Watch: Cindy Blackstock on $40 billion in compensation for child welfare on reserves and the 15-year process to get here

Cindy Blackstock is the executive director of the First Nations Caring Society.

The Government of Canada recently announced an agreement-in-principle to set aside $40 billion to address systemic issues for child welfare on reserves across the country and in the Yukon.

Cindy Blackstock is the executive director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society. In 2007, along with the Assembly of First Nations, she launched a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal saying the federal government was intentionally underfunding services for Indigenous children. Now nearly 15 years later, following many trips to court, arguing against Canada, the government has finally announced money to address ongoing systemic issues.

While details are still to come, so far $20 billion will go towards compensating children and families that suffered through the child welfare system on reserves, and other public services Indigenous children did not have equal access to; and $20 billion will go towards systemic reform over the next five years.

While the NWT is not a part of the compensation for the child welfare system, resident can be eligible for funding under Jordan’s Principle.

Blackstock says the most difficult part is still to come in implementing how all that money will be spent to help Indigenous children and families.

You can listen to an edited version of her interview with CKLB’s Francis Tessier-Burns below.

Or watch an unedited version.

About the Author

Francis Tessier-Burns
Francis has been a general news reporter with CKLB since January 2019. Originally from rural Ontario, he first came to the NWT in 2016 as an intern with Up Here magazine and fell in love with the North. In his time with CKLB, he's had the immense pleasure and honour of learning about northern Indigenous cultures. Otherwise, you can find him hanging around the Legislative Assembly. If you have a story or want to chat, reach out to