Children & Families

B.C. Métis to 'reclaim authority' over their children in government care

Agreement with province transfers back control of child welfare programs

B.C.'s Métis community will soon assume authority over its children in government care.

Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) and the province signed an agreement on Wednesday acknowledging an eventual transfer in control over the child welfare of Métis children.

The goal of the agreement is to "significantly" reduce the number of Métis children and youth in government care, leading to the eventual legislative transfer of authority over B.C. Métis children to MNBC, according to a news release.

There are currently 520 Métis youth that receive services through B.C.'s Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD).

Two Métis-sensitive child welfare centres run by the MCFD currently operate B.C. — Métis Family Services in Surrey and Lii Michif Otipemisiwa in Kamloops.

"By signing this joint commitment, we assert the right to develop our own laws, our own policies, and our own practices in accordance with our traditions," said MNBC president Clara Morin-Dal Col in the release.

"As we reclaim authority, we will focus on the restoration of our most vulnerable children and families to our kinship networks, to our communities and to our Métis Nation."

MNBC News Release (Surrey, BC) Jan 27 2018.

Métis Nation British Columbia and BC Provincial Government full participants at Emergency Meeting in Ottawa addressing the urgent issue of the high number of Indigenous children in government care.

Métis Nation British Columbia and the Métis Nation as a whole were well represented at a two day Emergency Meeting in Ottawa this past week addressing the serious issue of the high number of Indigenous children in the care of government. The two meeting – the first one ever on the issue – was called by Federal Minister of Indigenous Services Jane Philpott, and involved provincial, territorial and Indigenous leaders and ministers.

MNBC President Clara Morin Dal Col who is also National Métis Minister for Culture, Heritage and Families attended, as did MNBC Minister of Children and Families Daniel Pitman and MNBC Director of Children and Families.

In addressing the federal, provincial and territorial Ministers on behalf of Métis people, National Minister Morin Dal Col said, “We have gathered here to address the overrepresentation of Indigenous children – our children - in the child welfare system. We are here because that system, as it currently exists, has failed us”. She said, “The historic message of the child welfare system in Canada to Métis people is that someone else – someone other than us – can do a better job of raising our children.” Minister Morin Dal Col then said, “I am here to tell you that we are the best for our children – our families, our communities, our Nation, our traditions, our culture, and our ways are the best for our children.”

President Morin Dal Col and Minister Pitman were pleased with the level of dialogue at the two day meeting, and the federal government’s commitment to six points of action. See link to read the commitments) https://www.canada.ca/en/indigenous-services-canada/news/2018/01/federal_governmentcommitstosixpointsofactioninworkingwithindigen.html
Photo: (l-r) MNBC Director of Children & Families Jason Simmonds; MNBC President and National Métis Minister for Culture, Heritage and Families Clara Morin Dal Col; Provincial Minister of Children & Family Development Katrine Conroy, MNBC Minister of Children & Families Daniel Pitman; and Provincial Deputy Minister of Children & Family Development Allison Bond.

Emergency Meeting on First Nations, Inuit and Metis Nation Child and Family Services held on January 25, 2018:  https://www.canada.ca/en/indigenous-services-canada/news/2018/04/emergency-meeting-on-first-nations-inuit-and-metis-nation-child-and-family-services.html

 

 

Metis Commission for Children and Families of BC:

The Metis Commission for Children and Families of BC is the legislated aboriginal community under the Child Family Community Services Act of BC to be notified of all Metis children and youth under the care of the Director of Child Welfare. We attend court, track files, contribute to policy and adoption work and offer Métis specific cultural support to Social Workers and community members. Currently there are over 800 Métis children under the care of the MCFD. (Ministry of Children and families)

https://www.metiscommission.com/

Last Resort: One family's tragic struggle to find help for their son

The provincial government should develop and fund a comprehensive system of substance use services capable of consistently meeting the diverse needs of youth and their families across British Columbia, says a report released today by the Office of the Representative for Children and Youth.

That is the main recommendation from Last Resort: One family’s tragic struggle to find help for their son, an RCY investigative report on the circumstances leading up to the death of Nick, a Métis teenager who was in a full-time attendance program on Vancouver Island as a condition of a youth justice sentence. This is the second time in less than five months that RCY has made this recommendation, which first appeared in A Review of Youth Substance Use Services in B.C. (May 2016)

Chilliwack Community Cupboard

 

The Chilliwack Community Cupboard is a safe place where struggling families of the studentstocan come without judgement to get help at no cost to them.

Our vision is to provide food, clothing, basic necessities and household items to these families on a regular basis.

This venture is staffed with volunteers and is currently open one day a week. We hope to continue to grow over time so we can open more frequently.

Fraser Valley Aboriginal Children and Family Services Society

 

Fraser Valley Aboriginal Children and Family Services Society (FVACFSS) is a fully delegated Aboriginal child welfare agency providing culturally appropriate and holistic services through prevention, community development and child welfare programs to Aboriginal (Status, Non-Status, On Reserve, Off Reserve, Stó:lō and other First Nation, Inuit, and Métis) children, youth and their families residing throughout the Fraser Valley.