Canada plans to compensate indigenous children

Canada said it will spend more than $31 billion dollars to fix its child welfare system and compensate indigenous families harmed by it.

It's the largest class-action settlement in Canadian history.

Tuesday's pledge affects what may be hundreds of thousands of First Nations people, some of whom were removed from their homes as children and put in the system.

Patty Hadju is Canada's Minister of Indigenous Affairs, and says the deal-in-principle is the first step towards healing:

"No amount of compensation can make up for the traumas that First Nations children, families and communities have experienced but this will begin the process of healing and it will support families on that journey of healing, it will support individuals who have experienced extraordinary loss and harm."

The announcement comes almost 15 years after a human rights complaint by the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society.

In 2016, a tribunal found that the federal government allocated fewer funds for child and family services of Indigenous people than for others, pushing more Indigenous children into foster care.

Canada admitted its systems were discriminatory but repeatedly fought orders to pay compensation and fund reforms.

The government's legal strategy came under increased scrutiny last year after hundreds of unmarked graves were discovered at the sites of former residential schools.

Until as recently as 1996, Canada's residential school system separated Indigenous children from their families and sent them to boarding schools where they were malnourished, beaten and sexually abused.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting