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FORT QU’APPELLE, SASKATCHEWAN – Sept. 16, 2009 – The Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan and the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN) have reached a tripartite agreement on an interim process to implement Jordan’s Principle.Through the agreement, all parties are committing to work together to develop a child-first approach, ensuring the health and well being of First Nation children with multiple disabilities in Saskatchewan take priority over questions of jurisdiction and responsibility of payment for services and health care.
Canada, through Indian and Northern Affairs Canada and Health Canada, the Province, represented by the Ministries of First Nations and Metis Relations, Health and Social Services and Education, and the FSIN have agreed to work together to establish processes, including a dispute resolution mechanism, to ensure First Nation children with multiple disabilities receive the services and care they require in a timely fashion. The parties will work together to address jurisdictional questions between the federal and provincial governments as well as long-term support for implementation.
“The Government of Canada is committed to working with provincial and First Nations leaders to ensure that the needs of First Nation children with multiple disabilities are met,” said the Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Metis and Non-Status Indians. “In keeping with Jordan’s Principle, the care of children with multiple disabilities is paramount over questions about responsibility for payment for service or care.”
“We are pleased that our work with Saskatchewan and the FSIN is progressing. We need to ensure all parties involved in a child’s care work cooperatively to ensure continuity of care for those most vulnerable,” said Minister Aglukkaq.
“Today we celebrate a first in Canada. First Nations, the Government of Saskatchewan, and the Federal Government have agreed on an interim plan to implement Jordan’s Principle and begin the process of negotiating a final arrangement,” First Nations and Metis Relations Minister Bill Hutchinson said. “As we continue to work together to ensure that all children get the care they need, we will keep in mind the sacrifice made by Jordan Anderson and his family of Norway House, Manitoba.”
“We must always keep in mind that this agreement is in place to protect the most vulnerable group in society – First Nations children,” says Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations Vice Chief Glen Pratt. “The interim agreement will allow us to make sure that First Nations children with intensive needs do not slip through the cracks in health care.”
Jordan’s Principle is named after Jordan River Anderson, a First Nations child from Manitoba who was born with severe and multiple disabilities.
This release is also available on the Internet at www.inac.gc.ca
For more information, please contact
Office of the Honourable Chuck Strahl
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
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