National leaders are demanding change for First Nation children.

On the National Day of Action for First Nations Child Welfare, National Chief Perry Bellegarde addressed the Assembly of First Nations to call for immediate action for change to First Nations child welfare, and a stronger implementation to Jordan’s Principle.

“The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal’s rulings are simple and clear – First Nations children deserve to be treated fairly,” said AFN National Chief Bellegarde. “Our children deserve the same care and services that are available to other children in this country. They should not have to wait any longer,” he said.

Jordan’s Principle was adopted in 2007 to ensure equal access to health care and social services for First Nations children. It is a child-first principle named in memory of Jordan River Anderson, a First Nations child from Norway House Cree Nation in Manitoba. Born with complex medical needs, Jordan spent more than two years unnecessarily in hospital while the Province of Manitoba and the federal government argued over who should pay for his at home care. Jordan died in the hospital at the age of five years old, never having spent a day in his family home.