Gitanmaax child facing apprehension will remain in community, says chief

·1 min read
Hereditary chiefs and elected leaders from the Gitanmaax band stopped a social worker from apprehending a child in the community Oct. 16. (Kai Nagata - image credit)
Hereditary chiefs and elected leaders from the Gitanmaax band stopped a social worker from apprehending a child in the community Oct. 16. (Kai Nagata - image credit)

A First Nation in B.C. that blocked social workers from taking a child away earlier this month says a provincial court has ruled the child should remain in the community.

"It was the right decision. It was the honourable decision. And it was a small step in the right direction toward reconciliation," said Gitanmaax Band Chief Tracey Woods in a news release.

Woods, along with hereditary chiefs, matriarchs, and community members, stood outside of a home on Oct. 16 and blocked Ministry of Child and Family Development (MCFD) social workers from apprehending a six-year-old child, worried that the MCFD was trying to take the child to relatives in Ontario.

A news release from the Gitanmaax Band on Friday said a judge had ruled that the best interests of the child required her to remain in the custody of her family and her nation in her cultural home on the Gitanmaax reserve.

Submitted by Tracey Woods
Submitted by Tracey Woods

The child is a Gitanmaax member, and the child's mother is also from the community.

In an emailed response to CBC News, the MCFD wrote that it is "unable to comment on matters involving specific children, youth, and families."

Woods said in the news release that the child is safe and that the First Nation remains committed to working collaboratively with the director, MCFD and the minister to ensure the child remains in Gitanmaax with [their] family."

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