Montreal Lake Chief Wants Foster Care Numbers Down

Thursday, July 10, 2003 at 14:13




The chief of the Montreal Lake Cree Nation says the Baby Andy episode has prompted the band to take a serious look at reducing the number of band children in foster care.


Chief Richie Bird says there are just too many band children in the system, and that’s why his band is going to try to take a preventative approach with its families.


Bird notes that, right now, the band simply doesn’t get enough government funding to make prevention a reality and can only respond after family problems arise.


Meanwhile, Bird is glad increased communication between agencies was one of the major recommendations in yesterday’s report into the affair. He says poor communication was a big reason why the Montreal Lake case worker made the decision to remove the child from foster care.


Bird is also upset with criticism of reserve-based child welfare agencies that’s come in the wake of this episode. Bird notes First Nations children have died or been abused under the provincial child welfare system, and still feels Indian Child and Family Services agencies are the way to go.