Kamloops Métis agency gains child welfare control | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops Métis agency gains child welfare control

Minister of Children and Family Development Katrine Conroy is pictured in this submitted photo.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/B.C. NDP
November 18, 2017 - 2:01 PM

KAMLOOPS – The B.C. government has transferred Metis child welfare authority to a Kamloops Métis agency.

Lii Michif Otipemisiwak Family and Community Services has received full control over child protection for Métis families in the Kamloops area, according to a media release from the province.

"We are committed to keeping children out of government care and returning them to their families, their communities and their culture,” Minister of Children and Family Development Katrine Conroy says in the release. “Indigenous and Métis communities know best how to take care of their children.”

Conroy calls the transfer of authority one of the ways her government can act on its commitment to “true and meaningful reconciliation.”

There are currently more than 4,300 Indigenous children in government care, of which roughly 580 are Métis, the province says.

Lii Michif Otipemisiwak will take over responsibility for the care of 50 Metis children. The Kamloops agency will get $2.7 million in funding to pay for staffing, program delivery and operation costs.

"Reclaiming this responsibility has remained our priority, as it is through healing our families that we will strengthen our communities and Nation," Colleen Lucier, executive director of Lii Michif Otipemisiwak, says in the release.

There are now 24 delegated aboriginal agencies providing services in B.C. to Indigenous children and families, the province says.

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