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Canada will allocate about $ 31.5 billion dollars to compensate indigenous children who suffered discrimination in foster homes, in a fiscal adjustment resulting from a faster-than-expected economic recovery after the pandemic recession.
With this, the northern country seeks to fix the nation’s discriminatory child welfare system and compensate the indigenous peoples harmed by it.
The money was set aside to settle a lawsuit that concluded that the government “had less funded services for indigenous children, compared to services for non-indigenous children.”
Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland announced that half of the funds would go to compensate children and their familieswhile the other half will be used to reform the nation’s child welfare system.
“We know that paying our historic debt to indigenous peoples is paramount and that we must act to guarantee that these injustices do not happen again, “he said in a speech.
In 2019, a court ordered the government to pay C $ 40,000 for each child separated from their family and sent to foster homes outside of their indigenous community.
Ottawa asked a federal appeals court in September to reverse the ruling, while it sought a negotiated settlement. Those talks are still ongoing.
In that context, the discoveries of more than 1,300 unidentified graves in former indigenous boarding schools, where many students suffered from malnutrition and abuse, have highlighted a drive for reconciliation with Canada’s 1.7 million indigenous people.
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