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Innu Nation files human rights complaint over Ottawa's child protection funding

Last Updated Aug 12, 2020 at 12:38 pm EDT

The Innu Nation has filed a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission alleging the federal government spends more money removing children from their homes as opposed to keeping families together. Gregory Rich, then- lands claim negotiator for the Innu Nation, is seen in Natuashish, N.L., Thursday, Dec.6, 2007. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — The Innu Nation has filed a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission alleging the federal government spends more money removing children from their homes as opposed to keeping families together.

Innu Nation Grand Chief Gregory Rich said in a statement Tuesday Canada’s child welfare system has devastated Innu families.

The complaint, which was filed in June, says the federal government gives Newfoundland and Labrador more money for the foster care system compared with the funds it provides to help families.

A 2016 Canadian Human Rights Tribunal decision found the federal government’s unequal funding for child welfare services discriminated against children who live on reserves.

Rich says funding remains inadequate and Innu children are suffering.

He says one Innu child out of every 10 has been taken out of their home as a result of the current funding system.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 12, 2020.

The Canadian Press