Urgent Letter Regarding Métis Child SS to Premier Horgan

BC Métis Federation sent an urgent letter to the Provincial Government today. This letter is addressing the mandate from the recent Annual General Meeting (AGM) motion to demand SS’s return to our proper adoption family and Métis community.

Honorable Premier,

The BC Métis Federation is requesting an urgent meeting as follow up to our October 5th letter to your office, in addition to a letter sent by our members, to discuss the custom adoption of Métis child SS.

I have no doubt there are many demands on your time. I make this request for a meeting in recognition that you are the leader of the Provincial Government. As such you are ultimately responsible for the actions of your Ministers and of the public servants who undertake to carry out their duties in line with your instructions.

This is an urgent matter relating to Indigenous rights and the protection of our Métis child. As of today, your government is continuing its fight against our Métis family in the courts to overturn an recognized Métis (Indigenous) adoption. Your Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) Director(s) has torn a thriving young Métis child from the adoptive Métis home that her birth parents had chosen for her.

Even with the knowledge that our Métis child had been adopted by recognized Métis (Indigenous) custom and had thoroughly bonded with her Métis adoptive family since birth and was thriving and in no need of protection from outside sources, in our strong view the MCFD Director abused the so called “Exceptions Committee” process and the court system using procedural arguments to take our Métis child and place her in a non-Métis (Indigenous) home. This is unacceptable, particularly in light of your stated public support of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and the promise of implementation of all 85 recommendations put forward by Grand Chief Ed John.

Your MCFD Director(s) is still insisting that she is the sole guardian of SS which is simply not accurate, based largely on alleged Métis community organizations. This is not true and the alleged Métis approvals were done so without any consultation or approval by our Métis community within the BC Métis Federation. Our Métis child has been adopted and the rightful legal guardians are our recognized Métis parents of the child. This is according to your own legislation and according to Métis (Indigenous) law and customs. Our laws have never been extinguished or abrogated by any court and custom adoption is a protected right.

While the MCFD Director(s) claims to have the best interest of the child at heart she has failed to follow policy or the best interest test and has strategically manipulated the court system so that these issues were never addressed at any level of the judicial system.

This letter is to again inform you that it is our communities intention to travel to Ontario to pick up our Métis child SS, a member of our BC Metis Federation community, who has been adopted according to our Métis custom and to return her to her Métis adoptive parents and Métis community. For over two and a half years we have attempted to deal with this issue in a spirit of cooperation and understanding but have been continually ignored by the Director of MCFD and the former government. Unfortunately, the corrupt MCFD bureaucracy built over the past several years continues to function in stark contrast to the platform of values put forth by yourself and the new NDP government.

In the interests of transparency, we undertake this action based on your full public support of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the position of the Prime Minister of Canada on Truth and Reconciliation.

We will be acting with the unanimous support of our Métis community, the BC Métis Federation, and in accordance with our protected rights under Indigenous law in self determination for our children. As such, we expect no action against our Métis community or the adoptive parents in exercising these rights. We expect to be left in peace to raise our Métis child in her Métis family according to our customs with no further interference or litigation from your government.

We request that you exercise leadership in making sure that your adopted platform and legislation is implemented at all levels of your government, including the MCFD Director(s).

Once our Métis child is settled with her family we will make every effort to reach out to connect her with the families of the other siblings who were also wrongfully placed in non Indigenous homes previously so that they too will have the opportunity to connect with their Métis family if they should choose to do so.

Although there is a meeting scheduled on November 20th with Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, I respectfully request an earlier meeting with you to brief you on these urgent matters and to discuss how we can address these situations going forward in a spirit of reconciliation for the ongoing protection of our BC Métis Federation Métis children and communities. This is a tragedy and cultural genocide policies. The fact that the legislation is used by the MCFD Director as an excuse to prevent politicians such as yourself from discussing these tragic cases, it is time we stopped these terrible situations and demand justice is done.

If an earlier meeting date is not available I again assert my expectation that our Métis child, family, and the Métis community will be protected from any and all government interference or legal action as we proceed to exercise our rights and protect this child from the same cultural genocide that sadly reflects the 60’s scoop.

I urge for an immediate meeting without delay. I can be contacted without delay 1-778-388-5013 or email k.henry@bcmetis.com.

Thank you,

Keith Henry
President, BC Métis Federation

[ilink url=”http://bcmetis.com/wp-content/uploads/BC-Metis-Federation-Letter-to-Premier-October-16th-2017_Redacted.pdf” style=”download”]Click here to view the letter as a PDF.[/ilink]

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