This weekend the BC Métis Federation sent a letter to the Ministry of Children and Family Development regarding the recent progress and approval of the BC Métis Federation Child Welfare Declaration.
This is an important step to create our laws on child welfare that affect BC Métis Federation members:
Re: Notice of Policy and Directives
Dear Deputy Minister Bond and Ms. C. May;
On behalf of the BC Métis Federation’s Child Welfare Department, I would like to take this opportunity to notify you of the directives and policies of the newly formed BC Métis Federation Child Protection Department and the tasks with which it has been delegated.
We look forward to your full cooperation in working towards the shared vision of not only preserving but enriching our culture through the placement of Métis children with Métis families.
Under the BC Métis Federation’s Child Protection Declaration s.7 and s.8, we require unrestricted access to the files of any child(ren) who are associated members of our Métis community in order to allow the Child Protection Committee to assess and gauge the success of their current placements. Under s.11, we also require unrestricted direct access to all BC Métis Federation children currently in the care of the Ministry. This information will allow the BC Métis Federation Director and the Child Protection Committee to assess the placement and determine if it is in the best interest of the child, family, and Métis community.
Receipt of this information is required within 7 business days.
Effective immediately, if any family or child identifies as a BC Métis Federation member we require notification within 24 hours of initial contact so that our protection committee can address the needs of the family and take custody of the child. This will relieve the workload on your system and ensure the cultural and physical safety of the child within our community.
Two of our members, Mr. A. S. and Ms. J. S., have approached our BC Métis Federation Director and requested immediate intervention regarding their daughter being detained under a home care agreement in Ontario. To facilitate a review of this case, our Child Welfare Department requires immediate access to the child and to her file so that the Child Protection Committee may properly assess and address her needs and those of her sisters.
With Canada’s and British Columbia’s unqualified adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, s.35 of the Constitution of Canada Act, and the commitment of the British Columbia’s Ministry of Child and Family Development to address the disproportionate number of Indigenous children in care, we anticipate an open, cooperative relationship rooted in accountability and best interest of the child.
cc BC Métis Federation Board
BC Métis Federation Director of Child Welfare