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Remove CAS

June 3, 2011 permalink

Six Nations members want to remove CAS from their territory. The protesters gave examples. Hollie Hill and an unnamed mother told of the removal of their own children. Brant CAS executive director Andy Koster said: "I hope people recognize there is another side to this story," but did not name any cases. It's called the veto of silence.



Six Nations protests CAS

Six Nations protest children's aid
Six Nations residents protest the Children's Aid Society of Brant operating on the reserve.
Photographer: Jason Teakle

Six Nations resident Harry Clause says it is time for the Children's Aid Society of Brant to leave the territory.

"They are taking our kids away and spreading them across Ontario," he said. "This is our village."

About 20 people participated in a walk against the agency operating on Six Nations Thursday morning in Ohsweken.

Walk organizer Kelly Hill said she would like to see the day when the agency is removed from Six Nations.

"These children are given to us as gifts," Hill said. "Nobody checks to see if the children are really okay in the homes they are put in."

Participants walked from Veteran's Park to Six Nations Housing on Chiefswood Road, holding signs protesting the presence of the agency on Six Nations.

One protestor, Six Nations resident Hollie Hill, knows what it is like to have her own children in the care of the Children's Aid Society of Brant on the reserve.

"Both of my kids are placed with their father's parents," Hill said. "My kids were taken from me a year ago."

Alan Froman said he attended the march because he believes children taken away from families need to be placed in a group home on Six Nations.

"When they leave, they don't come back," Froman said. "They are all over the place and somehow they have to come back."

A participant who did not want to identify herself said she is "really frustrated" with the agency.

"I have completed their plan of care to get my children back but they keep asking more of me," she said. "There is no forgiveness because if you make a mistake, they hold it against you."

Children's Aid Society of Brant executive director Andy Koster said he respects the right of Six Nations residents to protest against the agency operating on the reserve, but said the whole story is not being told.

"I hope people recognize there is another side to this story," Koster said. "We have less than 100 kids in our care on Six Nations and more than half of them remain on Six Nations."

Koster said the only time children are taken from Six Nations is if they have a "special need" that can not be addressed on the reserve.

"We provide excellent service and our whole staff there is aboriginal," he said. "Our leaders there are educated and experienced."

Koster said the Children's Aid Society of Brant respects Aboriginal Peoples' self-governance and would support Six Nations handling children in need of help on the reserve, if Six Nations leaders choose how to do so.

"Until then, we have a responsibility to make sure those kids are safe," he said.

Source: Brant News