The Saskatoon Tribal Council is applauding a Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruling that calls on the federal government to pay more then $2 billion to as many as 50,000 First Nations children and their families.

The ruling covers First Nations children in the child welfare system after Jan. 1, 2006 and says each should be compensated to the tune of $40,000.

STC Chief Mark Arcand said the ruling is long overdue and is a positive first step in what should be a number of measures to help affected children and their families.

“This is a step where we not only get compensated for children that have been affected like this but we also have to look on the other side of the coin, which is we need all the preventable measures for them to be healthy so they can deal with their trauma,” he said. “So, they can get on the right path to education and employment. So, they can change their families’ lives and so no other children have to go through this.”

He added Ottawa should do the right thing and abide by the CHRT decision.

The ruling also says caregivers should be eligible for $20,000 plus an additional $20,000 for each child apprehended by government agencies.

The ruling came down Friday morning.

(PHOTO: Saskatoon Tribal Council Chief Mark Arcand. File photo.)