Jordan's Principle is a child-first principle intended to ensure that status First Nations children living on-reserve do not experience delay or disruption of services as a result of jurisdictional disputes between governments or government departments over payment for services. It is named in honour of Jordan River Anderson, a child from Norway House First Nation, who died in hospital after Federal and Provincial governments spent over two years arguing over payment for his at-home care. Jordan's Principle was unanimously passed in the House of Commons in 2007, but the Canadian Paediatric Society reports that neither the Federal government nor any of the Provinces/Territories have fully implemented Jordan's Principle. Moreover, while service providers and First Nations advocates provide anecdotal evidence to suggest there may be many situations in which First Nations children living on-reserve experience delay, disruption, or denial of services normally available to other children, the Federal government indicated in both 2011 and 2012 that it knew of no Jordan's Principles cases. To date, there has been no systematic documentation of the number or nature of cases in which First Nations children living on-reserve experience delay, disruption, or denial of services normally available to other children. Nor has there been any systematic documentation of the structural differences, in processes for accessing or providing services, which might contribute to disparities in services for First Nations children living on-reserve and for other children.
In this webinar, we will provide an overview and update on the implementation of Jordan's Principle in Canada. We will discuss the narrow operational definition of Jordan's Principle adopted by the Federal government, review the Canadian Pediatric Society's report card on Jordan's Principle implementation, and assess the implications of a recent court ruling (the Pictou Landing Band Council & Maurina Beadle v. Canada) for the implementation of Jordan's Principle. In addition, we will introduce a research study being conducted by researchers at McGill University, working in partnership with the Canadian Association of Paediatric Health Centres, the Assembly of First Nations, UNICEF Canada, and the Canadian Paediatric Society. The goal of the study is to systematically document differences in processes for accessing or providing health and social services for First Nations children living on-reserve and for other children. Webinar participants will be invited to give feedback on the study design, to consider participating in the study, and to attend a follow-up webinar presenting preliminary research findings.
Vandna Sinha is an assistant professor in the School of Social Work at McGill University. Her research explores the ways that minority and marginalized communities support and care for their members in light of resource limitations, restrictions imposed by social policies and other factors which limit members' quality of life and access to opportunity. She conducts community-engaged research which supports efforts to develop and improve community based health and social services for children and families. Dr. Sinha is principal investigator for the First Nations component of the Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect (CIS-2008), working closely with a First Nations advisory committee to oversee the most comprehensive national level study of First Nations child welfare investigations ever completed in Canada. She also collaborates with representatives of diverse minority communities on a number of projects supporting the development, implementation, and evaluation of services for families and children.
Lucyna Lach is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Work, McGill University and an Associate Member of the Departments of Pediatrics and Neurology/Neurosurgery in the Faculty of Medicine, McGill University. She has a special interest in health-related quality of life and parenting of children with chronic health conditions and disabilities. Dr. Lach is principal investigator for the Quebec subsample of the pan-Canadian study on Outcome Trajectories in Children with Epilepsy, a study examining determinants of health related quality of life in this population. She is also co-principal investigator of the CIHR Team in PARENTING MATTERS! The Biopsychosocial Context Of Parenting Children With Neurodevelopmental Disorders In Canada. Working closely with parents, clinical and institutional leaders, and policy makers, Dr. Lach hopes to increase awareness of what constitutes parenting, what makes a difference to how parents parent their child, and what difference parenting makes to child outcomes.