Assembly of First Nations to defend expansion of 'Jordan's Principle'

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The Assembly of First Nations says it will see the federal government in court, to defend a ruling expanding children's right to publicly funded services.

Ottawa announced before Christmas it would ask a federal judge to overturn a November order from the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal to widen the scope of a legal rule called Jordan's Principle.

The principle obligates Ottawa and the provinces to cover the costs of crucial services for First Nations children and their families and resolve payment disputes later.

The tribunal ruling said the principle covers children living off reserves and without status under the Indian Act, if they identify with a First Nation and that First Nation claims them.

The A-F-N's Kevin Hart says the government challenge of the tribunal's order is a stab in the back to First Nations leaders and a slap in the face to First Nations children.

Indigenous Services Canada said in a news release in December it's been fully implementing the tribunal's order while seeking the court review.