Feds taken to court over First Nations child welfare
Published Monday, February 13, 2012 7:12AM EST
OTTAWA - The federal government is being taken to court today over funding for child welfare on First Nations.
It's a case that could have much wider implications.
Child welfare advocates, the Assembly of First Nations and the Canadian Human Rights Commission are behind the court case.
They accuse the federal government of systematic -- and discriminatory -- underfunding for child welfare.
They say children on First Nations receive significantly less funding than off-reserve kids in terms child and family services.
They want affirmation that federal services provided to First Nations are directly comparable to services provided by provincial governments to all other Canadians.
David Langtry of the human rights commission says a win for First Nations would mean they could ask the courts to force Ottawa to match provincial funding in other areas like health and education.
The court is not expected to rule for some time after hearing arguments this week.