PAGC Defends Band’s Challenge of Adoption Ruling

Wednesday, January 12, 2005 at 14:35



The chief of the Prince Albert Grand Council says he’s concerned the Sturgeon Lake First Nation is getting a bad rap over the recent court case involving its child and family services agency.


The band has launched an appeal over last month’s decision by a Saskatchewan judge to strike down a law requiring First Nations children to have their band’s consent before being adopted out.


Merasty says some reports make it seem like the band was being unreasonable when it did not allow five of its children to be adopted out by non-Aboriginal families.


The chief says the band had no active participation with the province over the type of care the kids were getting.


Merasty also says when the band was approached by the government to allow the adoption to take place, band officials said “no” due to a lack of information from the province’s department of Community Resources.


Merasty contends that this lack of communication is a direct result of chronic years of underfunding.


He believes the judge ended up blaming the policy for causing the kids to be in so many foster homes over the years, when, in Merasty’s opinion, it was a policy vacuum that led to the breakdown.