BC Métis Federation Letter to Premier re SS

BC Métis Federation sent a letter yesterday to Premier Horgan to address the ongoing injustice facing Métis child SS.

Delegates in attendance at the recent BC Métis Federation Annual General Meeting unanimously demanded her return to our community and customary adopted family.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Premier of British Columbia
Honourable John Horgan
Province of British Columbia

Re: Métis Foster Child SS Return

Honorable Premier,

This letter is to inform you that we, the BC Métis Federation intend to exercise our rights under Indigenous law and take back our Métis child formerly known as SS into our custody. For the sake of the child we would have preferred a transition period that would help her to adjust but the MCFD director has denied this opportunity.

Under the Constitution of Canada Sections 35 and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), we exercise our right to self-determination with regard to this child and in protection of her custom adoption.

A custom adoption is a verbal agreement made within the Indigenous community and cannot be overturned by colonial legislative authority without the total disregard for the Canadian Constitution and the UNDRIP.

The legislative Director of MCFD, who is not Indigenous, has no jurisdiction in matters of Indigenous law but for the past year has denied this child the right to grow up in her Métis adoptive family. The director has made claims of best interest but has neglected to follow written policies and procedures to the detriment of a vulnerable Métis child. This is unacceptable.

We have tried on many occasions to reach out and work together for a peaceful solution but your Ministers have been unwilling to meet with us.

The BC Métis Federation members have now voted unanimously to protect this child’s cultural upbringing and preserve this child’s relationship with her adoptive and birth parents.

We ask that the new government honour the legislation as it is written at 24 (1) (a) and (2) of the BC Adoption Act and at section 53 of the CFCSA which specifically states that when an adoption has occurred the Director and Public Guardian and Trustee must step aside.

We expect the government to honor the United Nations Declaration of Indigenous Peoples, the BC Adoption Act, the Constitution of Canada and the Supreme Court order of the NWT which names our Métis family as legal parents and to cease all litigation, respecting the decision of our community to raise our child within her culture and in peace without further interference from MCFD or other government officials.

We bring this information forward in a spirit of transparency and with respect and hope that this action brings us another step forward toward reconciliation and redress for past oppression of our people.

We thank you for your leadership in this difficult situation and for the progressive steps that you are taking toward a new and respectful British Columbia. We are prepared and have drafted a new plan for MCFD to review and work with our community into the future which much guide future decisions that affect the BC Métis Federation.

In closing, this situation has been created because other Métis organizations, Métis child and family service delivery agencies, and MCFD refused to recognize our self-governing right to represent our Métis members and our families. Our members unanimously passed a motion to demand the return of our Métis child as per the attached minutes. Let’s take courageous steps to demonstrate leadership and truly implement reconciliation and UNDRIP to save this culture of this child and her proper customary adoptive family.

Please have an official contact me without delay 1-778-388-5013 or email k.henry@bcmetis.com.

Thank you,
Keith Henry
BC Métis Federation
#300 – 3665 Kingsway,
Vancouver, BC
Telephone: (604) 638-7220

cc BC Métis Federation Board Members
Encl. BC Metis Federation Draft Minutes AGM October 1st, 2017

[ilink url=”http://bcmetis.com/wp-content/uploads/BC-Metis-Federation-Letter-to-Premier-re-SS-October-5th-2017.pdf” style=”download”]Click here to view the letter to Premier Horgan as a downloadable PDF.[/ilink]

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