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Indigenous Petition Against Child Removal

Deadline Approaches for Canada to Respond

by Joseph Jones

James Louie Talks About Child Removal [photo: Rider Cooey]
James Louie Talks About Child Removal [photo: Rider Cooey]

Also posted by Joseph Jones:

James Douglas Louie pronounces his own English "name" with a heavy heart. At the age of 70, he is all too aware of the colonial role that namesake James Douglas played in alienating his own and other peoples from their west coast lands and lives.

He deplores his experience of twelve years of residential schooling and its effects. "Our language is our second language." The force of just that one blow to self and family and culture means that, among the Lil'wat at Mount Currie, "95% are 95% assimilated" in Louie's estimation. He sees that a primary purpose of the "education" imposed on him was "to do away with us in governing ourselves."

He and others are determined to resist that agenda. Alvin Reynolds points out that of 9500-plus children removed from their families in British Columbia, more than half are Indigenous.

In specific response to the forcible removal of a child from Loni Edmond, Louie has led in launching a challenge against Canada's legal right to jurisdiction over Lil'wat children. On August 22, 2011 the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights gave the Government of Canada two months to respond to petition.

Louie would like this information distributed as widely as possible, and has provided copies of correspondence.

An account of the case from International Human Rights Association of American Minorities concludes:

An estimated 67,000 children are placed in out-of-home care across Canada, of which more than 27,500 are First Nations children. This is three times the number of First Nations children that were placed in residential schools during their peak.

Find scans of three relevant documents appended in a pdf.

Further reading:

Lil'wat Delegation Carries Case to United Nations in May 2011

BC Authorities Snatch Three-Day-Old Indigenous Baby

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