BC Métis Federation’s Increasing Role for Our Métis Children and Families

As we know one of the most important issues for BC Métis Federation leaders and members is to ensure that our community/organization has direct involvement and decision making with any of our affected Métis members and their families.

This week the BC Métis Federation was sent an important update by the Deputy Minister for Children and Families Allison Bond. The Province is creating new legislation and this will ensure Indigenous communities, including the BC Métis Federation, are involved with more legislative strength.

This issue cuts deep for the BC Métis Federation and we look forward to the passing of Bill 26 and further discussions with the Province of BC’s Ministry of Children and Family Development to better understand what this will mean going forward for the BC Métis Federation.

The following is the text of this important letter:

Ref: 239984

Keith Henry
President
BC Métis Federation
E-mail: K.Henry@BCMetis.com

Dear President Henry:

I am pleased to provide an update on the progress we have made since the amendments to the Child, Family and Community Service Act (CFCSA) were introduced in the legislature as Bill 26 and passed on May 31, 2018. These changes are intended to improve Indigenous child welfare and give Indigenous communities greater involvement in child welfare decisions.

Our focus over the past several months has been on developing new policy and practice approaches needed to implement the amendments under Bill 26, developing information sharing protocols and training and orientation for staff located throughout British Columbia, and to continue our consultation with Indigenous leadership, communities, and child welfare service providers.

In addition to the consultations that took place while Bill 26 was under development, additional engagement has been underway since it passed in May including: representatives from the First Nations Leadership Council, the leadership team from Delegated Aboriginal Agencies, the Office of the Wet’suwet’en, Lake Babine technical group, Northern Secwepemc te Qelmucw (NStQ) technical group, nations in the South Island Wellness Society, Ktunaxa Kinbasket nations, the Sts’ailes, the Splatsin, the Okanagan Nation Alliance and an upcoming meeting with the Cowichan Tribes.

The bottom line is we want you to see a practical and positive change in how these amendments expand your role in decision making for your children going forward. My expectation is you will see the full suite of amendments under Bill 26 in force by spring 2019.

In the meantime, I am pleased to tell you we have been able to target a specific set of the amendments under Bill 26 and bring them into force early. These changes allow the director under the CFCSA to withdraw from a child protection court proceeding when there is an approved agreement in place between the parent and an Indigenous community that will keep a child safe. We are notifying you as these new withdrawal provisions are now in effect and can be used immediately.

If you have any questions about the withdrawal provisions under the CFCSA or any of the amendments under Bill 26 and what it might mean for your community, please contact James Wale, Director, Child Welfare Policy, Ministry of Children and Family Development, at: James.Wale@gov.bc.ca.

Original letter will follow by mail.

Sincerely,

ORIGINAL SIGNED BY

Allison Bond
Deputy Minister

pc: James Wale

3 Responses to BC Métis Federation’s Increasing Role for Our Métis Children and Families

  1. Sharon Eyford October 18, 2018 at 11:25 pm #

    Sounds wonderful, BUT how does all of this affect Metis children and families. So far I see in

    this letter the First Nations being ready for changes. What does all this mean for the Metis

    Children that have been taken away from their families and are still being kept away–in other

    parts of Canada?? How does all this affect the case of Baby S??? It now has been over two

    years, that she has been away??? Has there been any REAL CHANGES in this particular

    problem ??? Are our children still in jeopardy, and what is going to happen NOW if another

    case comes forward that is the same as Baby S ??? We want action from the Gov’t of BC

    that doesn’t jeopardize our children to endless pain and agony of being displaced to parts

    UNKOWN all over BC and Canada ??? Is there any new news about this particular case,

    that has never yet, to my knowledge, been satisfactorily, come to a conclusion ??? We want

    answers not just told to sit tight and THEY are working on this ??? How many more years

    are going to be used up of this child’s life, before it is too late to be fixed ????

    Metis Elder.

  2. Tod October 26, 2018 at 4:35 pm #

    She’s with her sisters. What is more beautiful than three sisters growing up together despite everyone trying to keep them apart?

    -Tod

    • Keith Henry October 29, 2018 at 6:06 am #

      Our position has never changed nor will it.

      She was cusotomarily adopted within our community and this should have been respected.

      Her and her sisters should all be together, within our community.

      Thank you

      Keith Henry
      President

Leave a Reply