B.C. ministry bars Métis toddler from attending cultural event in her honour
The case has pitted the importance of indigenous culture against blood relatives
A foster mother fighting to adopt a Métis toddler she's raised since birth is outraged that British Columbia has barred the girl from attending a cultural event in her honor.
The Vancouver Island woman, who can't be identified, says B.C.'s Children's Ministry won't allow the girl to attend a fundraiser hosted by the B.C. Métis Federation today.
She and her husband have launched a court petition to adopt the 2 1/2-year-old girl.
The ministry is fighting the adoption, because it plans to move the child to Ontario to live with her older siblings, whom she's never met.
The foster mother is Métis, while the caregivers in Ontario are not, pitting the importance of indigenous culture against blood relatives.
The province said today's potluck was advertised as an opportunity to meet the toddler, which violates legislation that protects the identity of children in government care.
The ministry retains legal guardianship of foster children, so it does have the power to prevent the toddler from attending the event.
The foster mother said she's taken great care to keep the girl's identity private, especially in the media.
She said the ministry's explanation appears to be an "excuse," and suggested the government is trying to avoid further publicity about the case.