Protesters block 105A Avenue in Whalley for a half-hour Monday during a rally against what they say is the disproportionate apprehension of Indigenous children by the government. (Submitted photo)

Surrey rally against state apprehension of Indigenous children

One five-year-old girl is heading into her 15th foster care placement

Roughly 30 people staged a rally in Whalley on National Indigenous Peoples Day to protest against what they say is the disproportionate apprehension of Indigenous children by the government.

The rally, organized by the Justice for Georgia Campaign and supported by the Red Braid Alliance, was staged outside the Ministry of Children and Family Development office at 105A Avenue and King George Boulevard at noon June 21st.

Isabel Krupp, of Red Braid, said Georgia is a five-year-old Indigenous girl who in her short life has already been through 14 foster care placements and is heading into her fifteenth.

“She was apprehended in Surrey and later in Chilliwack, and she’s been transferred back to the Surrey district,” she explained. “It’s a good home right now, but it’s a temporary one. She’s about to be transferred to another one because the foster parent has to go back to full-time work.”

“She kind of symbolizes or represents the problems with the system,” Krupp said.

homelessphoto

Mama Crow. (Submitted photo)

Protesters blocked 105A for 30 minutes, beginning with a moment of silence related to the unmarked graves of residential school children found in Kamloops.

Meanwhile, a report by the Representative for Children and Youth reviewing critical injuries and deaths indicates that between June 1, 2017 and March 31, 2018 that 669 B.C. children were injured and 98 died who were in care.

Michael Crawford, president of the BC Association of Social Workers, noted that another government report indicates that in 2019 almost 44 of every 1,000 Indigenous children were in care compared to a little more than two children per 1,000 non-Indigenous children.

“Indigenous children now represent 67 per cent of all children in care in B.C.,” Crawford noted, “despite the fact Indigenous people comprise less than 10 per cent of the total provincial population.”

Crawford said, according to the Ministry of Children and Family Development’s most recent service plan, that an Indigenous child is nearly 18 times more likely to be removed from their parents than is a non-Indigenous child.



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

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