First Nations Aid to children varies greatly across the country

First Nations: Aid to children varies greatly across the country

Rates of rejection of services and support for First Nations children are not evenly distributed across the country, with some areas having much higher rejection rates, according to the Globe and Mail.

For the past 15 years, the federal government has failed to implement the Jordanian principle of putting the needs of First Nations children ahead of the bureaucratic convenience of government.

In the Northwest Territories, the government refused just over 41% of goods and services requested under the Jordanian Principle in FY2020-2021.

In the Yukon, the rejection rate was about 13%, about the same as the national rate that year.

Manitoba rejected only 2% and Quebec 6%.

An application can be made for an individual child or for a group of children, although the vast majority are for individuals.

In 2020-21, the government rejected just over 70% of all group applications from British Columbia and nearly 55% from Alberta. In Manitoba and Quebec, he denied only about 5%, according to Indigenous Services Canada documents.

That year, the government received 52 such requests from British Columbia, compared to 455 from Alberta, 268 from Manitoba, and 638 from Quebec.

Denial rates in Alberta and British Columbia also rose 30% this year, according to nearly 600 pages of government documents provided to the Globe and Mail.

The Jordanian principle is a legal obligation for the federal government to ensure that First Nations children receive the services and support they need promptly, the outlet recalled. Medical transportation and education were the two most common types of inquiries in 2020-21, but inquiries can range widely from wheelchair ramps and mobility aids to tutoring and educational assessments to diapers and infant formula.

Evidence has accumulated pointing to delays and gaps in services to First Nations children and their families; the underfunding of these services; and systemic racism in areas such as healthcare.

On reserves, the federal government funds some health services that are covered by provincial or territorial governments elsewhere, but the division of responsibilities can be blurry, particularly for reserve or statusless First Nations.