APTN National News
The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal is hearing a case Monday that alleges Ottawa discriminates against First Nation children through its inadequate funding of family services.
The tribunal began in the morning and is hearing from various groups with standing including the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society and the Assembly of First Nations, the two organizations that filed the complaint.
Cindy Blackstock, the executive director of First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada will be the first witness.
It was Blackstock who first filed the complaint with the tribunal in 2007.
She also alleges the federal government retaliated for the complaint.
Aboriginal Affairs officials posed as “friends” to access Blackstock’s Facebook page, the tribunal has heard so far.
“For far too long there have been two villages in this nation,” said Blackstock. “The time for talking is over, the time for justice for children is now.”
APTN fought successfully in Federal Court for the right to have our cameras inside the tribunal and we will be airing stories during our nightly broadcast.
The tribunal is expected to last up to 14 weeks.
APTN National News reporter Jorge Barrera is providing live updates through his Twitter account @jorgebarrera.
More to come throughout the day.