ONTARIO REGIONAL CHIEF ISADORE DAY SAYS ACTIONS OF CHILDREN’S AID SOCIETY OF LONDON MIDDLESEX IS AN INDIGNITY TO THE PEOPLE OF ONEIDA OF THE THAMES FIRST NATION Serpent River, ON (Dec 22, 2016)
--- Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day is calling the reported actions of the Children’s Aid Society (CAS) an indignity to the community who just lost lives in a tragic house fire last week.
“We continue to send positive thoughts and prayers to Chief Randall Phillips and the Oneida of the Thames First Nation after the tragedy that occurred last Wednesday,” said Regional Chief Day. “Reports that the Children’s Aid Society of London and Middlesex have allegedly provided false information to the Ontario Provincial Police is an indignity against a family and a grieving community and this should be dealt with swiftly.”
Ontario Regional Chief Day was informed by Chief Phillips of the Oneida Nation of the Thames about his frustration with CAS for their latest indiscretion. Chief Phillips clearly provided details and shared with Ontario Regional Chief Day the way in which the CAS turned this tragedy and time of deep grief of the community’s loss into an encroachment and unwarranted infringement of the community process and a family addressing a terrible loss.
It was explained to the OPP that the Children’s Aid Society of London and Middlesex had received permission from Chief Phillips and direction was given to CAS to proceed with an investigation, which Chief Phillips said is completely false.
“The timing of this assault against the Oneida Nation of the Thames couldn’t come at a worse time. This is simply not acceptable. I wish to extend a message to Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Minister Michael Coteau of Child and Youth Services – this is not a time for an agent of the Crown to make such a error. This simply goes way beyond ignorance. This needs to be corrected,” said Ontario Regional Chief Day.
Chief Phillips said,
“there is no excuse for the level of incompetency and insensitivity by the Children’s Aid Society and its representatives during a time of extreme tragedy and sorrow. They lied to the OPP. I think the surviving family members deserve a public apology from Children’s Aid and someone in their organization should be fired immediately.”
Ontario Regional Chief Day agrees, but also says this is indicative of a system that must be abolished and jurisdiction of Child Welfare back in the hands of First Nations in Ontario. The Children’s Aid Society has been under scrutiny for their policies and approach with First Nations since the 1960s when they began taking First Nation children from their families without proper authority or process. There have been several lawsuits filed against the Children’s Aid Society over the years and they have been under heavy criticism for discrimination against First Nations families and children.