I am writing to let you know about a discrepancy that is currently happening within Alberta. There are indigenous children in care that aren’t being provided with the same services as other children in care. Namely those under the umbrella of the AMO society.
While I applaud and support that the people of the Luis Bull Nation have taken an interest in their children and even see the purpose of their mandates, one has to wonder should they be pursued at any cost, even the children?
As of now children are being removed, with no warning or transition, from long term homes that are not indigenous, some of ten years or more. Many are being placed into non-indigenous group care. Movement without transition has been proven to be traumatic and detrimental to the mental health of children, and there are many bodies of evidence to show that while group care is sometimes necessary, when a child cannot function in a family setting, at best it is less effective when considering outcomes for children, and at worst it is a major source of trauma, especially for young children. All children, but especially young children need consistent loving caregivers in order to develop attachments in healthy ways, this foundation provides the basis for all of their relationships into the future and whether or not they are able to succeed in them. If you would like references to the many many bodies of study that have shown this to be true, please feel free to contact me.
There is no process to question these decisions that AMO are making, the children of AMO do not have access to a child advocate, an administration review, a personal lawyer, or therapists to help guide these decisions and how they are carried out. I believe that this is an infringement of their human rights, being denied to them due to their ethnic background, and I find that extremely concerning, as should we all. I am very very concerned about the real trauma these children have and are suffering while waiting for someone to care enough to do something.
I ask that you please look into this matter and do what you can, even if it is simply bringing it to attention of someone who might have power to change this process for the positive.
To note: I am a foster parent who has personally experienced this injustice. The children in my home were with me for three years, since birth, and removed with less than twenty-four hours notice, to be placed in a non-indigenous group home in Edmonton. Not only do I feel like this move was unnecessary culturally, but also traumatic. These children were taken by complete strangers, the workers had not even met them before. They screamed and cried because they were terrified that they were being taken. Their last memories of this home are being loaded away while crying in terror for me to help them. This was completely unnecessary, a smooth transition could have easily happened where I myself helped to move them and show that their new place was not something to be terrified of. A non-indigenous child would have had the previously mentioned rights, there would have been many professionals helping to guide the decision, and if the move was found to be in the best interest of the child, to ensure the move happened in the least traumatic way possible.
Again, please consider helping with this cause. These children deserve to be treated just as well as any other child in care.