What is Jordan’s Principle?

Jordan’s Principle is a legal rule in Canada. It helps ensure First Nations children and youth can access the public services they need, when they need them, and without prejudice. It’s important to know the history of — and how First Nations children and youth can use — Jordan’s Principle in order to raise awareness.

What’s the history of Jordan’s Principle?

Jordan River Anderson was from Norway House Cree Nation. He was born in Manitoba in 1999 with multiple medical challenges. He spent his entire life in the hospital, despite clearance to live at home with proper care.

Unfortunately, the federal and provincial governments couldn’t decide on who should pay for that care. (Depending on whether they live on or off reserve, different levels of government support certain services for First Nations children and youth.) Jordan died at the age of five without ever going home or living outside of the hospital. He waited over two years in hospital for the funding dispute to be resolved. His story is what inspired Jordan’s Principle.

What is Jordan’s Principle?

Jordan’s Principle is designed to ensure all First Nations children and youth can access the products, services and supports they need, when they need them. Under this legal rule, First Nations children and youth can access any public services (such as physical health, mental health, educational supports, early childhood services and more) without having to face inequities because they’re First Nations. The government or department of first contact is responsible for funding, with financial disputes to be resolved after support is provided.

Who can use Jordan’s Principle?

Every young person who identifies as First Nations in Canada can use Jordan’s Principle to access the public services they need, when they need them. First Nations children and youth can request services under Jordan’s Principle whether they are:

  • on or off reserve
  • status or non-status

If you’d like to submit a request using Jordan’s Principle, you can call the Jordan’s Principle Call Centre 24/7 at 1-855-572-4453. To learn more about Jordan’s Principle, you can visit the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada.

Jordan’s Principle is designed to ensure First Nations children and youth receive the support they need without discrimination. If you have questions about Jordan’s Principle, you can talk to a safe adult such as a parent/caregiver, social worker, elder or Kids Help Phone counsellor. You can also search for Indigenous support services in your area on Resources Around Me.


If you would like to know more about this topic, you can connect with a counsellor by phone or Live Chat.