Indigenous Health - Jordan's Principle
During the coronavirus pandemic, Jordan's Principle continues to help First Nations children living in Canada access the products, services and supports they need. This can include, for example, laptops, tablets or other e-learning tools, if they meet an identified health, education or social need. At this time, professionals may not be available to provide supporting documents normally required to complete a request. We will take this into account when we review your request. In some cases, we will accept emails from professionals or documents can be provided later in the process. To find out more, contact your regional focal point. For support and up-to-date information on COVID-19, speak with your First Nation's leadership or visit COVID-19 and Indigenous communities.
Updates on Jordan's Principle
Jordan's Principle External Appeals Committee
From January to March 2021, Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) issued a call for proposals to seek services from professionals in the health, social and education fields to review appeals and issue recommendations as part of the new Jordan's Principle External Appeals Committee. The call is now closed. Thank you to all those who expressed an interest. ISC will communicate the results of the process to those who applied once the evaluation of the proposals is finished.
Other updates on Jordan's Principle
Under Jordan's Principle we are ensuring that First Nations children can access the products, services and supports they need, when they need them, while we work with First Nations partners, provinces and territories to develop long-term approaches to help better address the unique needs of First Nations children.
On September 29, 2021, the federal court upheld orders by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal regarding eligibility under Jordan's Principle and compensation. The Government of Canada did not appeal the orders about Jordan's Principle eligibility for products and services.
This means that First Nations families can continue to access Jordan's Principle under the same eligibility criteria that has been in place since November 25, 2020. To find out more, visit:
To learn more about the latest federal court decision on child and family services and Jordan's Principle, or about other related decisions, consult:
Learn more about the agreements-in-principle related to the First Nations Child and Family Services program and Jordan's Principle:
- Long-term reform of First Nations Child and Family Services and long-term approach for Jordan's Principle
About Jordan's Principle
Jordan's Principle makes sure all First Nations children living in Canada can access the products, services and supports they need, when they need them. Funding can help with a wide range of health, social and educational needs, including the unique needs that First Nations Two-Spirit and LGBTQQIA children and youth and those with disabilities may have.
Jordan's Principle is named in memory of Jordan River Anderson. He was a young boy from Norway House Cree Nation in Manitoba.
Requests for Inuit children can be made through the Inuit Child First Initiative.
Helping First Nations children
Between July 2016 and April 30, 2022, more than 1.53 million products, services and supports were approved under Jordan's Principle. These included:
- speech therapy
- educational supports
- medical equipment
- mental health services
- and more
A legal rule
In 2016, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) determined the Government of Canada's approach to services for First Nations children was discriminatory. One way we are addressing this is through a renewed approach to Jordan's Principle.
Since the ruling, the CHRT has issued a number of follow-up orders about Jordan's Principle. In May 2017, the CHRT ordered that the needs of each individual child must be considered, to ensure the following is taken into account under Jordan's Principle:
- substantive equality
- providing culturally appropriate services
- safeguarding the best interests of the child
This means giving extra help when it is needed so First Nations children have an equal chance to thrive.
What we are doing
We are supporting children who need help right away and are making long-term changes for the future, such as through reforming child and family services.
For the long-term, we are working to build better structures and funding models. These will make sure First Nations children living in Canada get the products, services and supports they need, when they need them. To do this, we are working closely with:
- First Nations partners
- service organizations
Since 2016, the Government has committed $2.36 billion toward meeting the needs of First Nations children through Jordan's Principle.
Local service coordinators have been hired in communities across Canada. They can help families who:
- have questions about Jordan's Principle
- would like to submit a request for products, services or supports under Jordan's Principle
We fund these coordinators, who are staffed by:
- local tribal councils
- First Nations communities
- regional health authorities
- First Nations non-governmental organizations, etc.
We also have staff across the country dedicated full-time to Jordan's Principle. They work closely with the local coordinators to make sure all requests are processed as quickly as possible.