Assembly of First Nations Chief RoseAnne Archibald says any federal compensation paid to Indigenous children removed from their homes would be a recognition of the harms that were caused, but does not make amends for the damage done in the process.
Archibald says compensation does not equate to justice.
But the national chief says a compensation settlement would signal the government is on the path toward that goal as well as ending discrimination against First Nations children.
The government filed notice it plans to appeal a Federal Court ruling upholding orders for Ottawa to pay compensation to the children, but the parties have agreed to start talks Monday in hopes they can reach a financial settlement outside of court.
The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal found Ottawa discriminated against First Nations children by knowingly underfunding child and family services for those living on reserve.
Archibald says she could not discuss in-depth details of the impending talks, which are scheduled to continue until December, but did not dispute the tribunal’s statement that the children were eligible for $40,000 in federal compensation.
In a joint statement Friday after the appeal was filed, Indigenous Services Minister Patty Hajdu, Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Marc Miller and Justice Minister David Lametti said the parties “have agreed to pause litigation” on the tribunal’s decision.