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Indigenous Canadian chief expresses relief, hope, after $31 billion child welfare abuses settlement

A t-shirt that reads "Every Child Matters" seen in the shop window in Edmonton, Alberta. The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, also known as Orange Shirt Day, is an Indigenous grassroots day to recognize and remember the children who survived — and those who did not survive — residential schools in Canada. (Creative Touch Imaging Ltd./NurPhoto via Getty Images)
A t-shirt that reads "Every Child Matters" seen in the shop window in Edmonton, Alberta. The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, also known as Orange Shirt Day, is an Indigenous grassroots day to recognize and remember the children who survived — and those who did not survive — residential schools in Canada. (Creative Touch Imaging Ltd./NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The Canadian government has agreed to pay $31 billion to compensate Indigenous families whose children were removed from their families by Canada’s child welfare system over three decades, starting in the early 1990s.

About 115,000 children were put into foster care for what Manitoba Indigenous Chief Cindy Woodhouse says had to do with poverty and racism, not parenting.

She tells host Scott Tong that the system has to be completely reformed to address racism and centuries of mistreatment of Indigenous Canadian communities — and that the settlement is the beginning of positive change.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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