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███████ ███████ R.I.P.
March 9, 2010 permalink
Funeral services were held in Edmonton Tuesday for ███████ ███████, who died last week in her Morinville Alberta foster home. She is survived by her mother ███████ ███████.
Foster child’s death an Alberta tragedy: priest
EDMONTON — A Catholic priest presiding over the funeral of a 21-month-old Edmonton girl who died in foster care last week says people must speak out for changes to the foster care system or the little girl will have died in vain.
Rev. Jim Holland told about 100 mourners at Edmonton’s inner city Sacred Heart Church of the First Peoples on Tuesday that the child’s death is not just a tragedy for her family but for the community and the entire province.
He called on Albertans to fight to make sure the province better protects children “that from time to time might need care.”
“There are good foster parents but the system has got to be changed,” he said while family members and the child’s mother wiped away tears.
“If we stop fighting then her death is in vain. We must make sure that another child does not die.”
Neither the child, who had been placed in a Morinville home, nor her parents or foster parents, can be identified under provincial law.
The toddler died March 3 in the Stollery Children’s Hospital. Police are treating her death as a homicide but will not say how she died.
Children’s Service Minister Yvonne Fritz has promised that her department will launch a review of the case.
Source: The Vancouver Sun
Addendum: The Edmonton Journal editorializes on the issue of anonymity
Review law on victim anonymity
For the fourth time in five years, an Albertan child has died a violent death while a ward of the province, under an almost Orwellian law that prevents her fellow citizens from ever knowing who she was.
The photograph accompanying this editorial should be of the 21-month-old victim of this tragedy. We should have to look into her trusting eyes, and contemplate the horrible irony of the inevitable snapshot smile from happier times. We should be forced to read an uncomprehending accusation into her gaze, at a world that treated her so cruelly and unfairly.
Instead we have only a visual statistic, as it were, to accompany the bloodless factual statistic she is doomed to become in collective memory: another fatality in which the foster-care systems and an aboriginal background are part of the picture.
Imagine having your life stolen almost before you've started writing your story, and then as an added indignity, being denied the right to have your proper name on the public record -- the right to stand up in a figurative sense and shout out to the world that "I was here!"
Yes, there is reason behind the law: the government wants to protect the privacy of guardians and family members whose circumstances might otherwise be dragged injuriously before the public eye. But making this an automatic response -- a response that inevitably depersonalizes a tragedy and reduces the public demand for change -- is wrong.
The anonymity of the young victim is by no means the central outrage here, or even the second priority after that most awful of crimes, the homicide of a child. Higher billing must surely go to the emotional pain of family and friends, and to society's loss of the contributions the child might eventually have made to her community, and perhaps even to all mankind.
But it is still vital that a review be made of the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act (if you can believe a name that the Ministry of Truth might have come up with in 1984.) We owe it to this latest victim of a society that still doesn't know how to protect its most vulnerable members. And we owe it to those who may find themselves in similar peril in the years to come.
Source: Edmonton Journal
Addendum: Four years later the girl was named as Shylee Kasokeo