Unsubstantiated claims

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, Director of Residential School History and Dialogue at UBC was interviewed October 22nd on CBC' Radio West regarding the fact that 63% of the 7000 children in care in British Columbia are indigenous. The CBC interviewer was drawing a parallel to the residential school system. Turpel-Lafond puts forward a woke narrative that this is "another wave of same circumstances where the impact of colonial laws and practices which are deeply anchored in racism, and children have been removed from families and communities." She later adds "that policy's which have been in place have been informed by socially problematic attitudes that indigenous families cannot take care of their own children." 

I would ask Turpel-Lafond - a former judge - where is the specific compelling evidence for this claim - for there is none.

Turpel-Lafond in her woke analysis has engaged in putting forward a false reality. She would have us believe that over the past six or seven decades, everyone who has worked with or in the child welfare system has been racist in their motivation and practice; this would include, but not limited to the courts, health, education, foster parents, academia and the schools of social work. This might also include Ms Turpel-Lafond who was a provincial court judge in Saskatchewan and likely adjudicated child welfare cases.

Turpel-Lafond's unfounded narrative and her call for zero indigenous children to be in care is dangerous. When the public or extended family expresses a concern for the safety and well being of a child, that child has a right to a through, professional and objective assessment of risk. For Ms Turpel-Lafond priority to be numbers rather than the child's right to safety and protection is dangerous and profoundly wrong. I can guarantee you indigenous children will be hurt by this standard. Has Ms Turpel-Lafond already forgotten Matthew Vaudreuil and the Gove Commission, or the Giesbrecht inquiry in Manitoba?

Judge Giesbrecht is very instructive here both to Turpel-Lafond and to the CBC writing " playing the system racist game leads to permanent racial and ethnic division."

A travesty that I would ask Ms Turpel-Lafond to direct her attention to is the structure and efficacy of frontline services provided to families in need; a patchwork of poorly funded, disintegrated programs with a low standard of expectation for success. This network a consequence of political indifference and neglect.

Rolf van Driesum

Prince George

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