Without denial, delay, or disruption: Ensuring First Nations children’s access to equitable services through Jordan’s Principle

This report was published by Assembly of First Nations.

Jordan’s Principle is a child-first principle intended to ensure that First Nations children do not experience denials, delays, or disruptions of services ordinarily available to other children due to jurisdictional disputes. This report presents the results of two studies conducted by the research team participating in the Jordan’s Principle Working Group. The first reviewed over 300 Jordan’s Principle related documents to describe the governmental response to Jordan’s Principle. This research demonstrates that the current governmental response falls far short of realizing the vision of Jordan’s Principle advanced by First Nations and endorsed by the House of Commons.

The second study involved 25 exploratory interviews with professionals in health and child welfare services from across Canada, and embedded the interview data in a scoping review of the existing literature on health and child welfare services for First Nations children. This research describes the widespread jurisdictional ambiguities and underfunding that can give rise to Jordan’s Principle cases, explores the pathways of cases involving jurisdictional disputes under the current governmental response, and describes the systemic issues that must be addressed to ensure equitable services for First Nations children. It demonstrates the need for additional measures to systematically remedy the jurisdictional ambiguities and underfunding which give rise to these cases.

The Jordan’s Principle Working Group. (2015). Without denial, delay, or disruption: Ensuring First Nations children’s access to equitable services through Jordan’s Principle. Ottawa, ON: Assembly of First Nations.

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