In March the BC Métis Federation shared an update for partners and members about proposed Provincial Government steps to amend the Children, Family, and Community Service Act (CFCSA). This legislation has a profound impact on BC Métis Federation members when dealing with child welfare in BC.
BC Métis Federation was requested to share initial feedback. Since this initial feedback was provided, the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) has responded.
BC Métis Federation is sharing this latest MCFD correspondence as well as the BC Métis Federation response to MCFD.
Re: Email Response to BC Métis Federation regarding Amendments to CFSCA Ref. 236984
Dear Deputy Minister Bond,
Thank you for your response received on March 29, 2018.
It is unfathomable to believe that any government acting in good faith and honorably towards Indigenous Peoples could continue litigation against our Métis custom adoption tradition which is paramount to our issues going forward, regardless of proposed amendments to Provincial legislation. The Provincial Government claims that they uphold United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and has claimed that they have every intention of implementing all of Grand Chief Ed John’s recommendations which include custom adoption recognition as it relates to improving Indigenous child welfare in BC. However your last response raises our ongoing concerns about how our Métis members will be respected given the reality of these current major issues.
If Indigenous groups are to take the government seriously we must see, at the very least, actionable gestures on the part of the Provincial Government to honour our Métis customs and traditions. Perhaps it is true that the Provincial Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) have not yet had ample opportunity to implement all of the recommendations of Grand Chief Ed John’s report. However, the Provincial Government stated that it does plan to implement these recommendations.
Therefore, in the spirit of the values that the Provincial Government claims to uphold and plans to implement, we need actions. Therefor we once again call for an immediate ceasing to the litigation against one of the very recommendations it has agreed to implement; the recognition of our BC Métis Federation custom adoption of our member SS. This would show the BC Métis Federation that there is meaningful and genuine movement on the part of the Provincial Government to bring an end to this crisis.
The BC Métis Federation has worked hard to establish an Internal Department of Child Welfare and it is our intention going forward to work with our children and families to help prevent these situations that sever relationships and erode our culture. We intend to keep our children out of government care. This will ease the load on the statutory system and allow for a better working relationship between the BC Métis Federation members and MCFD. We work towards facilitating a system that will always place the needs of our Métis child, family, and community at the heart of everything we do, always protecting our most precious and sacred, our children.
Thank you for your immediate attention to this urgent matter. Ceasing this unnecessary litigation against a protected adoption will bring an end to this ongoing crisis of our member SS and facilitate a more meaningful working relationship with our people.
cc BC Métis Federation Members