Skip to main content
Negotiators-logo-large-3000x3000 (1)
Negotiators-logo-large-3000x3000 (1)

The Negotiators A co-production with Doha Debates

How a Band of Activists Negotiated a CA$40 Billion Settlement for Canada’s Indigenous Children

Cathy-Blackstock-First-Nations-Canada-Negotiators-foreign-policy-podcast-FP-site-square
Cathy-Blackstock-First-Nations-Canada-Negotiators-foreign-policy-podcast-FP-site-square

The agreement with the government follows decades of underfunding and a 15-year court battle.

For decades, Canadian activists have criticized the government in Ottawa for underfunding Indigenous communities, leading to various harms and hardships. The activists, led by Cindy Blackstock of the First Nations Child & Family Caring Society, sued the Canadian government in 2007, claiming that federal underfunding prompted First Nations children to end up in foster care in large numbers once residential schools were closed. The court battle dragged on for 15 years.

But this January, the federal government offered to pay 40 billion Canadian dollars (about $32 billion) to Indigenous children and families harmed by the child welfare system. It was the largest-ever proposed class action settlement in Canadian history—which some people are now calling a form of reparations.

This week on The Negotiators podcast, Blackstock sits down with host Jenn Williams to discuss the tactics used in negotiations with the government and the conditions that led to a successful settlement.

About The Negotiators:  Conflicts don’t just get resolved on their own. Most are settled through a grueling process of give and take, usually behind closed doors. On the new podcast The Negotiators, Foreign Policy is teaming up with Doha Debates to put listeners in the room. Hosted by FP deputy editor Jenn Williams, each episode will feature one mediator, diplomat, or troubleshooter, describing one dramatic negotiation. You’ll hear about a nuclear standoff, a hostage crisis, a gang mediation, and much more: successes and failures that shaped people’s lives.  See All Episodes

More The Negotiators episodes:

The Art of Hostage Negotiations—When You’re the Hostage

A Texas rabbi mediates a life-or-death situation.

Inside the Turbulent Negotiations Over Brexit

One negotiator remained constant throughout the four years of Brexit talks. Hear his story.

Inside the Youth-Led Fight for Peace in Libya

One reporter goes behind closed doors at the Libyan peace talks in Norway.

Other Foreign Policy podcasts:

I Spy
I Spy

I Spy

Spies don’t talk—it’s the cardinal rule of the business. But here at Foreign Policy, we get them to open up. On I Spy, we hear from the operations people: the spies who steal secrets, who kill adversaries, who turn agents into double agents. Each episode features one spy telling the story of one operation. Want swag? Check out I Spy's merch by clicking here.

Subscribe:

Ones-and-Tooze-podcast-foreign-policy-logo-3000x3000 (1)
Ones-and-Tooze-podcast-foreign-policy-logo-3000x3000 (1)

Ones and Tooze

Foreign Policy economics columnist Adam Tooze, a history professor and a popular author, is encyclopedic about basically everything: from the COVID shutdown, to climate change, to pasta sauce. On our new podcast, Tooze and FP deputy editor Cameron Abadi will look at two data points each week that explain the world: one drawn from the week’s headlines and the other from just about anywhere else Tooze takes us. Check out Adam Tooze’s column here.

Subscribe:

Loading graphics

Welcome to a world of insight.

Make the most of FP.

Explore the benefits of your FP subscription. Explore the benefits included in your subscription.

Stay updated on the topics you care about with email alerts. Sign up below. Stay updated on the topics you care about with email alerts. Sign up below.

Choose a few newsletters that interest you. Get more insight in your inbox.

Here are some we think you might like. Update your newsletter preferences.

  • Morning Brief thumbnail
  • Africa Brief thumbnail
  • Latin America Brief thumbnail
  • China Brief thumbnail
  • South Asia Brief thumbnail
  • Situation Report thumbnail

Keep up with the world without stopping yours. Keep up with the world without stopping yours.

Download the FP mobile app to read anytime, anywhere. Download the new FP mobile app to read anytime, anywhere.

Download on the App Store
  • Read the magazine
  • Save articles (and read offline)
  • Customize your feed
  • Listen to FP podcasts
Download on the Apple App Store
Download on the Google Play Store

Analyze the world’s biggest events. Analyze the world’s biggest events.

Join in-depth conversations and interact with foreign-policy experts with Join in-depth conversations and interact with foreign-policy experts with

An illustration shows US President Joe Biden surrounded by the foreign-policy issues he has faced in his first two years in office.
An illustration shows US President Joe Biden surrounded by the foreign-policy issues he has faced in his first two years in office.

Biden’s Foreign-Policy Report Card

✓  

Registered

  |   Ask a Question Ask a Question   |   Add to Calendar
  1. Only FP subscribers can submit questions for FP Live interviews.

    ALREADY AN FP SUBSCRIBER?

  2. Only FP subscribers can submit questions for FP Live interviews.

    ALREADY AN FP SUBSCRIBER?

Two years into his first term, how has U.S. President Joe Biden fared on foreign policy? Is there a clear Biden doctrine? Is America in a stronger or weaker position globally?  The answers ...Show more

Reporters-notebook-FPLive-site-3-2
Reporters-notebook-FPLive-site-3-2

With a Russian offensive brewing in the southeast region of Ukraine, Western governments are scrambling to keep up arms shipments. Has Russian President Vladimir Putin learned the lessons fr...Show more

People arrive to the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, on Jan. 22, 2018. FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images
People arrive to the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, on Jan. 22, 2018. FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images

The last few years have brought historic challenges for multinational companies. Nationalism and protectionism were already on the rise when COVID-19 shut down global supply chains. Then Rus...Show more

See what’s trending. See what’s trending.

Most popular articles on FP right now. Most popular articles on FP right now.