Indian Child Caravan

In 1980, the Spallumcheen Band Chief and Council passed a by-law for the care of Indian Children. This by-law was passed in reaction to an alarmingly high percentage of Indian children being removed from their homes by non-band agencies. The Spallumcheen band recognised the vital importance of the children to the community and wished to assert their authority to care for their children. The Band argued that the removal of the children from their homes not only had a detrimental impact on the child but also had an adverse effect upon the strength and social order of the community. They wished to find suitable solutions and arrangements within their own community and resort to non-Indian placement only as a last resort.

The UBCIC’s support played an important role in the Spallumcheen’s Bands fight. The Union was quick to offer support. The UBCIC provided office space, organized the media and made sure that the issue was brought to the publics attention. The UBCIC provided the impetus for the generation of province-wide interest in the issue. The Indian Child Caravan was a march and demonstration which took place in Vancouver, BC and eventually lead to the Minister of Social Services for the province of BC. The subsequent meeting of the Minister of Social Service, Grace McCarthy with the band lead to an agreement which gave the Spallumcheen control over their own child welfare program.

UBCIC is a NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.