The organizations involved in Many Hands, One Dream are promoting a national advocacy campaign to encourage provincial/territorialgovernments to adopt a child-first principle to resolving jurisdictional disputes involving the care of First Nations children. In December 2007, members of Parliament voted unanimously in support of a private member’s bill to adopt Jordan’s Principle. Continued advocacy is needed to ensure that the federal government works with provinces and territories to put Jordan’s Principle into practice.

Under “Jordan’s Principle,” children would no longer face delays or disruptions in essential medical and health services while governments argue over who will pay the bill. A recent research report indicates that jurisdictional disputes involving the costs of caring for First Nations children are common, with nearly 400 occurring in 12 sample First Nations child and family service agencies in just one year.

Jordan’s Principle honours a young First Nations child from Norway House Cree Nation, Man., who was born with complex medical needs and languished in hospital for two years while the federal and provincial governments argued over who would pay for his at-home care. Jordan died in hospital, having never spent a day in a family home. You can read more about Jordan’s story here.

Here are some simple steps that you can take to help influence your provincial/territorial government to adopt Jordan’s Principle:

Send a letter to your provincial or territorial Minister of Health

Call your local member of the provincial/territorial legislature to discuss this issue, or set up a meeting
Encourage members in your network to advocate for Jordan’s Principle

We have developed some resources to help, including:

template letter to ministers that you can use

list of contact information for health ministers
short item that you can use for your print or electronic newsletters to encourage others in your network to get involved