Bear Witness Day

Spirit Bear’s birthday is commemorated on May 10, 2020, an important day in the history of Jordan’s Principle. This is a chance to honour Jordan River Anderson’s legacy and also to learn about how Jordan's Principle is transforming the way government works. It allows us to reflect on past practices and be inspired by new paths that lie ahead.

Jordan’s Principle is named in memory of Jordan River Anderson, who was born in 1999 with multiple disabilities. When he was two years old, doctors said he could move to a special home for his medical needs. However, the federal and provincial governments could not agree on who should pay for his home-based care. Jordan remained in hospital until he passed away at the age of five, without ever having the opportunity to go to a home-like setting.

In December 2007, the House of Commons passed a unanimous motion: The government should immediately adopt a child first principle, based on Jordan's Principle, to resolve jurisdictional disputes involving the care of First Nations children.

You would like to show your support? Here are some COVID-19 safe ways you can commemorate Spirit Bear’s birthday at home:

If you, or your team, is interested in learning more about Jordan’s Principle, please contact Christina Reid, Jordan’s Principle Executive Director, at

Merci / Thank you / Ekosani / Miigwech / Meegwetch / Mahseecho / Mutna / Wopida / Hei Hei / Marci Cho / ᖁᐊᓇᖅᑯᑎᑦ / Quanaqqutit / Nakurmik / Kukwstsétsemc / Woliwun

Jean-François Tremblay
Deputy Minister, Indigenous Services Canada

Daniel Quan-Watson
Deputy Minister, Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

Sony Perron
Associate Deputy Minister, Indigenous Services Canada

Diane Lafleur
Associate Deputy Minister, Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

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