Rates of refusal of services and supports for First Nations children have not been evenly distributed across the country, with some areas experiencing much higher refusal rates, according to the ‘Globe and Mail’ .

Over the past 15 years, the federal government has floundered in implementing Jordan’s Principle to put the needs of First Nations children ahead of the bureaucratic conveniences of government.

In the Northwest Territories, the government refused just over 41% of goods and services requested under Jordan’s Principle in the 2020-2021 fiscal year.

In the Yukon, its refusal rate was about 13%, about the same as the national rate that year.

Manitoba only rejected 2% and Quebec 6%.

A request can be made for a single child or for a group of children, although the vast majority are for individuals.

In 2020-21, the government refused just over 70% of all group applications from British Columbia, as well as almost 55% from Alberta. In Manitoba and Quebec, he denied only about 5%, according to documents from Indigenous Services Canada.

That year, the government received 52 such requests from British Columbia, compared to 455 from Alberta, 268 from Manitoba and 638 from Quebec.

Refusal rates in Alberta and British Columbia also rose 30% that year, according to nearly 600 pages of government documents obtained by the Globe and Mail.

Jordan’s Principle is a legal obligation for the federal government to ensure that First Nations children receive the services and supports they need, without delay, the outlet recalled. Medical transportation and education were the two most common request types in 2020-21, but requests can be wide ranging, from wheelchair ramps and mobility aids, to tutoring and educational assessments, to nappies and formula.

Evidence has accumulated indicating delays and gaps in services for First Nations children and their families; the underfunding of these services; and systemic racism in areas such as health care.

On reserves, the federal government funds some health care services that elsewhere are covered by provincial or territorial governments, but the division of jurisdictions can be blurred, especially for First Nations people living off reserve or without status.