Jordan’s Principle

Ensuring First Nations Children Receive the Public Services They Need When They Need Them

What is Jordan’s Principle?

Jordan’s Principle is a child-first principle named in memory of Jordan River Anderson. Jordan was a First Nation’s child from Norway House Cree Nation in Manitoba. Born with complex medical needs, Jordan spent more than two years unnecessarily in hospital while the Province of Manitoba and the federal government argued over who should pay for his home care. Jordan died in the hospital at the age of five years old, never having spent a day in his family home.
Jordan’s Principle ensures that First Nations children can access all public services when they need them. Services need to be culturally based and take into full account the historical disadvantage that many First Nations children live with. The government of the first contact pays for the service and resolves jurisdictional/payment disputes later.

First Nations Child & Family Caring Society

Why is Jordan’s Principle Important?

Jordan’s Principle was a result of payment disputes between federal and provincial governments over services for a First Nations child. While this is common, there does not have to be a jurisdictional dispute to be eligible to apply. First Nations children are frequently left waiting for services they desperately need or are denied services that are available to other children. This includes, but is not limited to, services in education, health, early childhood services, recreation, and culture and language. Jordan’s Principle calls on the government of the first contact to pay for the services without delay and seek reimbursement later so the child is not tragically caught in the middle of government red tape.

What did the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal say about Jordan’s Principle?

The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal is a legal institution whose mandate is to adjudicate cases where there has been an alleged breach of the Canadian Human Rights Act. In 2016, the Tribunal found that the Canadian government is racially discriminating against 165,000 First Nations children and their families for its failure to provide equitable services, including the proper implementation of Jordan’s Principle. The Tribunal has issued a series of legally binding orders that Canada has an obligation to fulfill. Highlights of the orders are:

  • Apply Jordan’s Principle to all First Nations children living on and off reserve;
  • Apply Jordan’s Principle based on the needs of the child (not just limited to the normative standard of care);
  • Ensure that administrative procedures do not delay service provisions; and
  • Respond to most cases within 48 hours.

How to access Public Services and Supports through Jordan’s Principle

Who is Eligible? All First Nations children (0-18) who live on or off reserve.  A referral to Jordan’s Principle can be made for a single child or a group of children. Requests for reimbursement can be made dating back to April 2009. At this time, Atikameksheng Anishnawbek is focusing on the children who reside in the community.  If you have questions, please call us.

What is covered? All public services and supports.  If your child has any unmet services or support needs, we can assist with an application.

What can we do for you?

As your local Jordan’s Principle Case Managers/Systems Navigators we are here to assist with your Jordan’s Principle application. 

If you have previously submitted an application and were denied, we can help with the appeal process.

Jordan’s Principle covers all public services such as mental health, special education, dental, physical therapy, medical equipment, physiotherapy and more. 

The following are the types of things that can be applied for – this is not an exhaustive list.  If you think you have an application for Jordan’s Principle, or have questions, please give us a call. 

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Health
    • Mobile aids
    • Wheelchair ramps
    • Services from Elders
    • Assessments and Screenings
    • Medical supplies and equipment
    • Mental health services
  • Social
    • Social Worker
    • Land-based activities
    • Respite care (Individual or group)
    • Specialized programs based on cultural beliefs and practices
    • Personal Support Worker
  • Education:
    • School supplies
    • Tutoring services
    • Teaching assistants
    • Psycho-educational assessments
    • Assistive technology and electronics

Helpful Links

Spirit Bear and Children Make History Story: Nuttah and Kitchi, Protect our People

To learn more about Jordan’s Principle visit or contact:

Rose Messina
Case Manager/Systems Navigator
Jordan’s Principle
Phone: (705) 419-2326 ext 205
Fax: (705) 692-5010

Perry Ashawasegai
Case Manager/Systems Navigator
Jordan’s Principle
Phone: (705) 419-2326 ext 206
Fax: (705) 692-5010

How to Avoid Duplication of Services for Jordan’s Principle: Nogdawindamin Child and Family Services has had the lead in Jordan’s Principle applications for the past year or so.  Their Case Managers have been assisting community members with Jordan’s Principle applications who may not have any other affiliation with Nogdawindamin Child and Family Services. As more First Nation communities get involved in hiring their own Case Managers/System Navigators, Nogdawindamin will be able to focus on their children in care and family clients. If you are currently working with Nog on an application, please let us know when you come to see us, so that there is no duplication of services on your behalf. If you have no other affiliation with Nogdawindamin and would prefer to work with your community Case Managers, please give us a call; we would be happy to help.

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