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About Jordan's Principle
Jordan River Anderson, born in 1999 in Norway House, Manitoba, was hospitalized from birth with multiple disabilities. At the age of 2, he moved to an adapted home, but disagreements between the federal and provincial governments prevented funding for home care. Forced to remain in hospital, he died at the age of 5.
In 2007, the House of Commons adopted Jordan's Principle, a commitment to the right of First Nations children to timely access to necessary services. Today, this principle is a legal obligation in Canada, benefiting present and future generations.
Initially designed exclusively for First Nations children, Jordan's Principle did not include Inuit children, despite their similar needs. Gaps between federal and provincial government services persist, impacting the response to the needs of Inuit children.
The beginnings of Child First Initiative (CFI) Nunavik
Faced with this situation, Natan Obed, president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK), called on the Canadian government to offer Inuit children the same support as First Nations children in terms of health, social services and education. The request was to establish an Inuit equivalent of Jordan's Principle in Inuit Nunangat, divided into four regions: Inuvialuit, Nunavut, Nunavik and Nunatsiavut.
On September 10, 2018, the federal government, under Indigenous Services Canada (ISC), officially announced the Child First Initiative (CFI). This initiative, modeled on Jordan's Principle but outside the purview of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, aims to ensure Inuit children's access to essential health, social and education products, services and supports.
The CFI stems from the Canadian government's commitment to co-develop a long-term, Inuit-led approach, in collaboration with ISC, ITK and the Inuit Treaty Organizations (ITO) of Inuit Nunangat. In Nunavik, the NRBHSS is responsible for the implementation of Child First Initiative (CFI) Nunavik under the direction of the Out of Region Services department