|FNLC Supports Re-Appointment of Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond as Representative for Children and Youth|
OPEN LETTER. July 27, 2011
Premier Christy Clark
Province of British Columbia
PO Box 9041, STN PROV GOVT
Victoria, BC, V8W 9E1
OPEN LETTER: FNLC Support for the Re-Appointment of Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond as the Representative for Children and Youth in BC
Dear Premier Clark,
We are writing to express our full support for the reappointment of Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond as the Representative for Children and Youth in British Columbia.
The BC Assembly of First Nations, First Nations Summit and Union of BC Indian Chiefs have supported Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond¡¦s comprehensive work since her appointment in November 2006. During this time, Ms. Turpel-Lafond has provided much-needed critical insight into the current state of the child protection system through a number of in-depth reports and investigations, and has provided recommendations to both the federal and provincial governments regarding issues such as child poverty and the Youth Criminal Justice Act. As a judge, lawyer, mother, professor, and Aboriginal woman, Ms. Turpel-Lafond possesses incredibly unique and highly skilled experience for the position of Representative for Children and Youth.
Importantly, Ms. Turpel-Lafond has acted as a strong advocate for Aboriginal children, who are disproportionately over-represented among children in care, and who comprise the most vulnerable sector of society in BC. We continue to recognize Ms. Turpel-Lafond's unwavering commitment to address the underlying and cross-cutting root causes of the inter-generational poverty that characterizes a tragically high percentage of Aboriginal families in BC. Her tireless passion to work in partnership and make change has resulted in an accord with the provincial government to work cooperatively together and, most recently, has resulted in a Memorandum of Understanding with the First Nations Education Steering Committee. She refuses to accept that any child should be in an unsafe and unsupported environment, and also continues to clearly articulate the need for adequate supports to be provided to caregivers.
The enormously important and valuable work of Ms. Turpel-Lafond is just beginning, and she must be able to continue her effective advocacy for improving the lives of children and youth in British Columbia. Further, she must be able to continue providing much needed oversight and recommendations to the Ministry of Children and Family Development, and to establish opportunities for joint dialogue. Once again, we strongly urge you to reappoint Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond as the Representative for Children and Youth.
FIRST NATIONS LEADERSHIP COUNCIL
Honourable Mary Polak, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation
Honourable Mary McNeil, Minister of Children and Family Development
Mr. Adrian Dix, Leader of the Opposition, BC NDP MLA
Select Standing Committee on Children and Youth: