How a Band of Activists Negotiated a CA$40 Billion Settlement for Canada’s Indigenous Children
For decades, Canadian activists have criticized the government in Ottawa for underfunding Indigenous communities, leading to various harms and hardships. The activists, led by Cindy Blackstock of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, sued the Canadian government in 2007, claiming that federal underfunding prompted First Nations children to end up in foster care in large numbers once residential schools were closed. The court battle dragged on for 15 years.
But in January of this year, the federal government offered to pay C$40 billion to Indigenous children and families harmed by the child welfare system. It was the largest-ever proposed class action settlement in Canadian history—which some people are now calling a form of reparations.
This week on The Negotiators podcast, Blackstock sits down with host Jenn Williams to discuss the tactics used in negotiations with the government and the conditions that led to a successful settlement.