Metis closer to autonomy

The Metis community in British Columbia has signed an agreement with the provincial government to assume authority over Metis child and family welfare by 2021.

Metis Nation B.C. president Clara Morin Dal Col and Minister of Children and Family Development Katrine Conroy signed the joint commitment at a ceremony in Kamloops.

A ministry news release says the main objectives are to significantly reduce the number of Metis children and youth in government care, support family preservation, and work toward the transfer of authority over B.C.'s Metis children and families to Metis Nation B.C.

Once the transfer is complete, the ministry will be able to refer Metis children and families to Metis-specific child and family services as established by the Metis group.

There are about 90,000 Metis in B.C. and data from the Ministry of Children and Family Development shows approximately 520 Metis children and youths are currently in government care.

Dal Col says by signing the pact, Metis assert the right to develop their own laws, policies and practices in accordance with their own traditions. 

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