Nation-Based Sovereign-Based Government

FNT2T recognizes May 10, 2021 is Bear Witness Day

May 10, 2021

Treaty 2 Territory – Today we remember Jordan River Anderson who was a First Nations child from Norway House Cree Nation in Manitoba. He was born with complex medical needs and in his short life Jordan died in the hospital at the age of five years old without never spending a day in a family home.  This was because the province of Manitoba and the federal government argued over who should pay for his at home care. As a result, Jordan’s Principle is a child first principle and legal rule named in his memory to ensure that First Nations children access substantive and equitable services and supports they need, when they need them without disruption or jurisdictional disputes.

The First Nations Caring Society recognizes this day as Spirit Bear’s birthday.  It is a day recognizing the importance on the history of Jordan’s Principle at the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.  The Caring Society reminds us that “The Tribunal’s first non-compliance order called for Canada to fully implement Jordan’s Principle by May 10, 2016. Unfortunately, it took several more years and many non-compliance orders (September 2016May 2017November 2017) against Canada before any real progress was made.”

The First Nations Caring Society provides some safe ideas during COVID-19 to show support and be a “Bear Witness” to hold governments accountable to making sure Jordan’s Principle is fully implemented. Some ideas they suggest are:

  • Take part in the online screening of Spirit Bear and Children Make History!
  • Hang out with your bears or favourite stuffed animal at home! Ask loved ones in your home to participate too! You can let your neighbours know that you are participating in Bear Witness Day by placing your teddy bear or a drawing of a bear in the window.
  • Host an online teddy bear tea party or bear birthday party to honour Jordan River Anderson and to learn about Jordan’s Principle.
  • Learn about the importance of Jordan’s Principle by reading Spirit Bear’s Guide to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action.
  • Learn more about Spirit Bear and Jordan’s Principle by reading Spirit Bear and Children Make History. You can dowload a free version now!
  • Watch the documentary Jordan River Anderson, The Messenger to learn more about Jordan River Anderson and Jordan’s Principle. Available to watch for free through the National Film Board!
  • Spread the word and post photos on social media using the hashtags #JordansPrinciple and #BearWitnessDay. 

FNT2T recognizes that Local Nations in Treaty 2 territory have and continue to work tirelessly and endlessly to provide and advocate for substantive equitable services and supports to meet the needs of families with children with complex medical needs. First Nations children, youth and families should have substantive equity, equal rights safety, healthy lives, equal opportunities, the chance to stay in their traditional territories no matter if they have complex medical needs and to restore their ancestral language, culture and heritage.

Please check out Pinaymootang’s Health Centre- Jordan’s Principle Implementation Toolkit with 5 Modules to learn more about creating and or building programs and standards for Jordan’s Principle.  We thank Pinaymootang for your leadership and wisdom.


Kim McPherson,

Health and Wellbeing Policy Keeper


Lois Stoll

CFN Operations Keeper, Governance

Last modified: August 13, 2021

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