(Vancouver, BC) – BC Métis Federation is extremely disappointed with the BC Court of Appeal decision released yesterday to dismiss the appeals led by the Métis foster family. The Court found that there was no legal basis which would allow it to make an order that SS be adopted by the foster parents. The Court also found that other issues such as the Charter claims raised in this case should have been raised in the first petition at the lower court.
The Court held that it could not comment on the issue of whether the Director properly considered SS’s Métis heritage. The Court held that this issue should have been raised by way of judicial review of the Director’s decision to place SS in Ontario. Because that decision was not part of this original petition, the BC Court of Appeal was not able to make findings on the Métis issue on the appeals.
BC Métis Federation President Keith Henry stated; “This is a sad day for the foster family, SS and many others across our Métis community who have been praying and supporting that our community does not lose another Métis child to the foster care system. It appears procedural processes seem to stall the Courts ability to correct this example of Métis cultural genocide. Removing our children from our community without our clear participation is at issue and remains the issue BC Métis Federation calls into the constitutional question. Our community was never asked or invited to participate in the original decisions to seek removal of one of our member’s family. This is not in this Métis child’s best interests.”
BC Métis Federation President Keith Henry added; “It is important for our community and members to understand the original facts that led us to this situation. MCFD did not act in a timely manner to properly execute the original adoption order, we maintain there was not proper Métis involvement in any subsequent decision to support adoption removal and this family and Métis child are connected as per our cultural practices. No court has properly asked MCFD and their Director for their accountability about our community’s involvement and right to protect and care for our Métis children. Métis agencies who have no connection to the BC Métis Federation do not have jurisdiction over our members and their children and this action if executed by MCFD to remove SS is carrying on the legacy of the 60s scoop.”
BC Métis Federation President Henry concluded; “What seems to be lost in this this is that SS has an amazing home with Métis foster parents who have cared for this little girl almost 3 years now. To remove SS is absolutely wrong and contrary to Federal Government statements about reconciliation and a new relationship. There is one final appeal before the BC Supreme Court on Monday and I hope our members and supporters understand the importance of what has and may unfold in this case. To the foster parents, I only hope you know how much we care and support your efforts. So many do not understand the nightmare you have been living and I hope one day there is full disclosure publicly about the actions of MCFD social workers, Métis agencies and the MCFD Director.”
Keith Henry, President
BC Métis Federation
Vancouver, BC V5R 5W2
Office 1-604-638-7220 | Cell 1-778-388-5013
[ilink url=”http://bcmetis.com/wp-content/uploads/BCMF-Press-Release-September-14th-2016-BCMF-Response-to-BC-Court-Decision.pdf” style=”download”]Click here to download this press release in PDF format. [/ilink]