VICTORIA, B.C. – Sonia Furstenau, B.C. Green Party spokesperson for children and family development, released the following statement on the government’s proposed changes to its Indigenous child welfare policies.
“These changes are a step towards improving a system that requires a complete overhaul,” said Furstenau. “I am glad to see the government recognize the importance of keeping Indigenous children connected to their families and their communities. As Minister Philpott has said, Indigenous child apprehension is a humanitarian crisis in this country.
“I am disappointed explicit references to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Calls to Action were not included in the legislation. Taken together, UNDRIP and the TRC Calls to Action on the child welfare legacy provide the framework within which government’s work should be firmly situated if we are to be successful in our shared goals to dramatically reduce the number of First Nations children in care and support families and communities.
“The child apprehension rate in my riding is twice the provincial average. The impacts of an unhealthy child welfare system are far reaching and tragic. I will continue to work tirelessly to prioritize this issue, amplify the voices of those affected, and support my community as we work towards solutions. There remains much work to be done to resolve this humanitarian crisis.”
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