Canada Has Been Getting Away With Paying First Nations Only $4 A Year In Benefits
This issue exposes just how neglected First Nations people in Canada really are.
It's no secret that Canada has a long and complicated history with the First Nations people who discovered this land and continue to live on it today. Those complications have come in the form of serious neglect and ignorance when it comes to First Nations people which continue to plague communities even in 2018. While a resolution has been found for one of the many problems that continue to hurt First Nations communities, the process towards that solution exposes just how neglected First Nations people in Canada really are.
It all started in 2014 when the delegation of 21 First Nations filed a lawsuit claiming that their yearly payment from the federal government of only $4 per member hadn't been raised yet.
Even with many First Nations members currently living in poverty, the annual benefit payment hasn't been raised since 1875. Even though in the Robinson-Huron Treaty it was promised that there would be an increase in "the collective annuity when economic circumstances warrant" it.
This past week, a superior court judge decided that the annual benefit payouts would need to be raised as "the Crown has a mandatory and reviewable obligation" to follow the treaty and raise the payouts in correlation with annuity increases.
As of now, there are approximately 30,000 members who benefit from the Robinson-Huron Treaty who spread across 21 different communities. The rise in payout is expected to go towards community programs and services as well as help with access to those resources according to NDP legislator Sol Mamakwa.
As for the Ontario government, a spokesman told CTV News that they are currently reviewing the court's decision and are not offering any further comment, the federal government also did not immediately respond to CTV News' request.
When it comes to the increase in payments, the judge didn't specify exactly how much the raise should be. Rather, she noted that there should be further discussion and consideration after her ruling when it comes to determining the number. As well as determining a proper process that will help with limiting this issue from happening again.
Source: CTV News