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Jordan’s Principle is a child-first principle to ensure First Nations children receive the public services they need when they need them. It aims to eliminate service inequalities and delays for First Nations children, any public service that is ordinarily available to all other Canadian children must be made available to First Nations children without delay or denial. Jordan’s Principle is a legal requirement as per the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.
Jordan’s Principle was created in honour of Jordan River Anderson, a First Nations child from Norway House Cree Nation in Manitoba. Jordan was born with complex medical needs and died at 5 years of age, spending his entire life in hospital as the Canadian and Manitoba Provincial governments both refused to pay for the in-home medical care that he required in order to live in his home and community.
Jordan’s Principle received unanimous support in the House of Commons in 2007, however the Canadian government implemented the Principle in such a narrow manner that very few First Nations children qualified. In 2016 the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruled that the definition was discriminatory, the Canadian government was ordered to take immediate measures that would see Jordan’s Principle implemented to its full scope. There have been multiple follow up orders issued against the Canadian Government to ensure that the legacy of Jordan lives on.