The BC Métis Federation continues to assert jurisdiction for our Métis members and their families. BCMF leadership sent the following letter on Friday, July 6th in response to a letter sent from MCFD dated July 3, 2018, to continue to address this matter.
Dear Ms. Stewart,
As you know, two members of the BC Métis Federation, (redacted name) and (redacted name) adopted SS according to aboriginal custom in December 2014 making them sole legal guardian of their daughter; your client is unlawfully detaining their child. On behalf of the BC Métis Federation executive and membership I have exchanged a significant amount of correspondence with your clients over the past several months on the matters pertaining to our planned return of this child.
As an Indigenous protected right under s.35 of the Constitution Act, 1982, the provincial legislation to which you refer is of no force or effect as per s.52 (1) of the Constitution. Métis cultural leaders and elders have recognized that (redacted name) and (redacted name) are the legal adoptive parents of SS. They were on June 22, 2018, as they are today and as such, are well within their parental rights to visit with their daughter. I would remind you that according to the Child, Family and Community Service Act [RSBC 1996] Chapter 46 at 53.1 (b) your client’s custody order terminated in December 2014.
I speak for the entire BC Métis Federation in expressing our disappointment in the lack of professionalism displayed by your clients. The unbecoming behavior on social media and apparent lack of internal communications and control betrays the public trust and endangers the lives of children in care. As for the MCFD worker who provided key information, she has the BC Métis Federation’s thanks; it was determined that details surrounding the phone call would be best disclosed in the form of a sworn affidavit.
Finally, the only outstanding issue regarding the constitutionally guaranteed custom adoption of SS by (redacted name) and (redacted name) in the NWT Supreme Court is that of the optional registration as per the Northwest Territories Aboriginal Custom Adoption Act at 2.(1). I understand that it is your job to protect the interests of your client and hope you understand that it is the job of the BC Métis Federation to insure our children are not assimilated and our culture destroyed.
Keith Henry, President
BC Métis Federation
cc. BC Métis Federation Board
Premier Mr. J. Hogan
Minister Ms. Conroy, MCFD
Ms. Bond MCFD, Assistant Minister
Minister Scott Fraser, MIRR