(Vancouver, BC) The BC Métis Federation is pleased to read of the Provincial Government’s commitment to work with Métis communities to keep children out of government care. This week the Ministry for Children and Family Development (MCFD) has signed an agreement with the Métis Nation of BC to help achieve permanency for Metis children within their communities and families. We see this as a positive step forward for that community.
The BC Métis Federation wants to inform members that we have also been encouraged by recent contact with the Ministry and has developed our own internal Child Protection legislation by which we have taken on the responsibility of caring for the children of our members.
BC Métis Federation President Keith Henry stated, “While we are happy for Métis Nation BC, we assert that this legislation between the Métis Nation BC and MCFD does not have any jurisdiction over our members.
President Henry added, “We are also concerned for Métis Nation BC members that their legislation does not appear to fully come into effect until 2021. This leaves three more years for all Métis children of Métis Nation BC members to be left without permanency with control in non-Indigenous families. The BC Métis Federation Child Protection Legislation is in full force and effect now in order to protect the children of our members.
President Henry further added, “While we at BC Métis Federation seek to have a cooperative relationship with MCFD, we do not require a signed agreement with a statutory body in order to exercise our rights under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, or under the Constitution of Canada Act 1982.”
BC Métis Federation Henry concluded, “We wish the Métis Nation BC and their members well with their new agreement and look forward to cooperation and respect from the MCFD with BC Métis Federation members as we continue to exercise our right to self-govern.”
To read the full BC Métis Federation Child Welfare Declaration go to the BC Métis Federation website www.bcmetis.com
Keith Henry, President
BC Métis Federation
Vancouver, BC V5R 5W2
You can follow BC Métis Federation President Keith Henry on twitter @keithhenryMetis
You can follow BC Métis Federation on twitter @BCMétis