MNBC Responds to RCY Report "Broken Promises: Alex Gervais Story"

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Background:

On Monday, February 6, 2017 the Acting Representative for Children and Youth, Bernard Richard, released a report entitled “Broken Promises, Alex Gervais”. Alex was a Métis youth who spent 11 of his 18 years in the care of the Province of British Columbia. On September 18, 2015, Alex took his own life.

Métis Nation British Columbia’s Response -

The very system meant to protect Alex Gervais betrayed his trust and undermined his hope over and over again. He was systematically disconnected from healthy family members and, through inaction and apathy, he was disconnected from his culture, his community, and his people.

Alex should have been safe and secure enough, and fed, clothed and housed enough, and loved and connected enough that he could dream, like any 18 year-old, about his future. But he wasn’t.

We are left to grieve for the loss of our youth and in the midst of our grief we are left wondering why did this happen again? Why did an 18 year-old feel so hopeless that he thought the only option he had left was to take his own life? 

It is not acceptable that Métis are the single largest Aboriginal population of children and youth in care in British Columbia. It is not acceptable that our children and youth are systematically disconnected from their families, their culture, and their communities. It is not okay that our culture and identity is ignored, erased or treated as an inconvenient after-thought and it is not okay that we do not have access to adequate services and that we have only one delegated Métis agency in one city in this entire province.

MNBC’s Minister of Children and Families, Susie Hooper said, “We call on the Ministry for Children and Family Development to work with us, support us, and listen to us so that we do not have more tragedies like this”. She said, “MCFD needs to implement the four recommendations of the Representative for Children and Youth’s report as soon as possible.”

Minister Hooper added,“We are hopeful that through our recently renewed Memorandum of Understanding with MCFD, the Deputy Minister will work with Métis Nation British Columbia, the Métis Commission for Children and Families of BC, and the five Métis child and family services agencies to implement the recommendations of Grand Chief Ed John’s Report and the RCY’s report to bring about systemic change for Métis people in British Columbia.”

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For further information:

Jason Simmonds, PhD
MNBC Director
Children and Families
(250) 517–0197

Link to the Report: https://www.rcybc.ca/brokenpromises