Indigenous Youth in Manitoba - Sotos Class Actions

Indigenous Youth in Manitoba

The Claims: This case makes two types of claims.

Child Services: First, it alleges that the governments of Canada and Manitoba (1) did not adequately fund child services for indigenous children; (2) implemented funding structures and policies that prioritized removing Indigenous children from their homes instead of providing Indigenous parents with services to care for their children at home; (3) failed to consider placing Indigenous children in customary care; and (4) placed Indigenous children in culturally unsafe settings, in which the children had limited to no access to their families, communities, cultures, or languages.

Essential Services: Second, it alleges that the governments of Canada and Manitoba failed to provide, or delayed in providing essential health and social services to Indigenous children.

The Class: This case seeks to represent:

(1) all off-reserve Indigenous (First Nations,  Métis, and Inuit) children in Manitoba who were removed from their homes while they were under the age of 18, since 1992;

(2) all off-reserve Indigenous children in Manitoba who were denied prompt access to an essential service, since 1992;

(3) the estates of any Indigenous children who passed away while in the state’s care; and

(4) the caregiving parents and grandparents of those children.

Our Partners: We are bringing this claim and parallel claims in other provinces with a consortium of firms across the country, including Cochrane Saxberg (Manitoba),  Murphy Battista (BC), Miller Titerle (BC), and Kugler Kandestin (Quebec).

The court will decide at a later date if the case will proceed as a class action.

  • May 18, 2023: The Court of King’s Bench of Manitoba granted carriage of this class action to our clients, Amber Lynn Fontaine and Tracy Lynn McKenzie, and stayed the competing proceeding. You can find the decision here.    
  • January 6, 2023: We consolidated the case with Fontaine v. Canada, and filed a Fresh as Amended Statement of Claim.
  • August 26, 2022: We issued a Statement of Claim.

David Sterns

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Mohsen Seddigh

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Adil Abdulla

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Maria Arabella Robles

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