The Metis Nation in B.C. will soon take control of its own children in government care.
Nation president Clara Morin Dal Col and Minister of Children and Family Development Katrine Conroy signed a historic agreement last month to transfer care by 2021.
Dal Col said Thursday it gives the nation the right to develop its own laws, policies and practices around child welfare in accordance with the nation’s traditions.
“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 Metis Nation,” she said.
— Ashley Wadhwani (@ashwadhwani) June 7, 2018
There are 520 Metis children currently in government care.
The two agencies delegated to serve children and families are the Metis Family Services in Surrey and Lii Michif Otipemisiwak in Kamloops. Three other delegated Aboriginal agencies across B.C. provide service on a child-to-child basis.
Following the transfer of authority, the ministry will be able to refer Metis children and families to those specific child and family services as established by the nation.
In May, the province introduced 10 draft principles to guide government employees in their daily work with Indigenous groups, as part of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Truth and Reconciliation of Canada’s Calls to Action.