NDP Introduce Bill to Raise Awareness of Jordan’s Principle

Winnipeg, MB – Manitoba NDP MLA for Point Douglas Bernadette Smith introduced Bill 230 The Spirit Bear Day Act in the House today. The bill designates May 10th as Spirit Bear Day – Spirit Bear being the symbolic representation of Jordan’s Principle.

The Jordan’s Principle policy stemmed from the death of Jordan River Anderson, a First Nations child with complex medical needs who spent the entirety of his short life in hospital because the federal and provincial government could not agree which jurisdiction was responsible for his in-home health care costs.

Spirit Bear has become a symbol of the fight to end inequalities in public services for First Nations children, youth and families. Spirit Bear is used to communicate to youth how public services have failed to properly care for First Nations families and to help teach them what they can do to fight injustice.

“Spirit Bear is an important tool that teachers, parents and communities cab use to explain funding inequities to First Nations and non-Indigenous youth,” said Smith. “A formal recognition of the Bear’s ‘birthday’ will promote the issue of Jordan’s Principle and continue to hold provincial and federal governments to account.”