Jordan’s Principle is a child first principle used to resolve jurisdictional disputes within, and between governments, regarding payment for government services provided to First Nations children and requires the government of first contact to ensure First Nations children can access public services on the same terms as other children, regardless of which level or arm of government is responsible for payment.
Jordan River Anderson was a First Nations child from Norway Cree House Nation in Manitoba. Born in 1999 with complex medical needs that could not be treated on-reserve, he spent more than two years in a hospital in Winnipeg before doctors agreed that he could leave the hospital to be cared for in a family home. However, because of jurisdictional disputes within and between the federal and provincial governments over who would pay costs for in-home care, Jordan spent over two more years in hospital unnecessarily before he tragically died in 2005. He was 5 years old and had never spent a day in a family home. In response to this tragedy, Jordan’s Principle was created.
Jordan’s Principle is a child first principle calling on the government of first contact to ensure First Nations children can access public services on the same terms as other children. In December 2007, Motion-296 in support of Jordan’s Principle passed unanimously in the House of Commons. The principle is designed to ensure that First Nations children do not get caught in the middle of government red tape and jurisdictional disputes.
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