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Indian Outsmarts White Man

March 2, 2014 permalink

For aboriginals multi-generational hassles with children's aid are commonplace. As part of her family's half-century struggle, Frontenac children's aid referred mother Donna Lynn Neil for a parenting capacity assessment by psychologist Dr Robert C Rowe of Hotel Dieu Hospital in Kingston. The mother turned the tables on the doctor by questioning him. The result was that CAS gave up on the assessment, as shown in an exchange of three letters (pdf). The mother's final warning is to avoid assessments by Dr Robert Rowe. Expand to see her comments.



"Been dealing with CAS so long and so hard, that I have PTSD. Then to top it off, that stupid worker called me and asked if I would keep the case open on a voluntary basis until the beginning of April...well, you know what I told her to do! Anyways, here are the letters.

The first one is from Dr. Rowe's office. When I was told that I was to go for this assessment, I went down that day and "interviewed" him. I asked him how much experience he had....his reply: "I'm qualified to do this assessment". then I asked him who was paying for it: "The court". Who pays the court for it: "I choose not to answer". I then told him I was of Aboriginal ancestry and live a very Aboriginal lifestyle, and I wanted to know his view on a few things. I asked him what his opinion is on Sage: "It's used for cooking. What does he think of the sweat lodge as a tool for healing: "It serves no beneficial purpose". I told him I work with a lot of animal parts and materials in my business: "Having dead animal parts around is a sign of mental illness, and should be investigated further". At this point, I informed him that he wasn't the right assessor for me, and that I would prefer someone who was more aboriginal friendly. He told me, and I quote "Whatever, I'm still qualified to do this assessment".

I then went home, called CAS, told the worker that I am still agreeable to the assessment, however, they would have to bring in someone who was culturally aware when it comes to Aboriginal Lifestyle and culture. As the worker has been here a number of times, she knows exactly how we live. She even included a picture of my son in complete regalia in the court papers, which the judge favourably commented on, said it was a great picture. The worker went and spoke to her supervisor, called me back, and said that they were not in a financial position to bring in another assessor, and that they had decided that the assessment was no longer necessary. Keep in mind here that my son had only been out of the house for two days, and had been living at home for two years under CAS supervision. I think they just do this to me because I fight them at every turn and help out other parents.

Ok, so the three papers I'm enclosing....The first one is from Dr. Rowe's office. It contains the court file number on it, which is important. When I was in court on February 20th, and it was at approx. 10:27 am, the CAS lawyer asked that the court reverse the order for the assessment. She stated that after consulting with Dr. Rowe, he felt that he could not continue with the assessment because I was Aboriginal and The Society no longer felt the assessment was necessary.

The other two letters are from my son's OCL Lawyer and the CAS Lawyer. I think the only information that needs to be blacked out is anything to do with my son. I would leave the court number. I really hope this helps other parents.

Chris, I've been dealing with these morons for over thirty years, and my mom has been dealing with them since 1957. No sense getting older if you can't get wiser. That was a good one, the best one was how I got my son back from them in the first place. That was a direct result of recording and sending a transcript with a copy of the recording to CAS. Caught them with their pants down, proved their was no protection concerns, and had him back in my custody.

Hopefully, with these letters, a lot of people can exclude having their assessment done by this doctor. Another family who had an assessment done by him were told they were drunken Indians based on the fact that the father admitted to experimenting with alcohol when he was a teenager. If he can be excluded from assessing me based on cultural insensitivity, then it should work for others. I'm curious if this would also work for other ethnicity's, and for other assessors. I know one lawyer, XXXX XXXXXX, (name suppressed at author's request) is using my information to try and have an assessment done by this doctor excluded. There was a previous assessment done in that case by another assessor, and it was positive, so, CAS goes and forces the family into another one with this yoyo, and it came back not so good. I'll let you know how it turns out."

Source: private communication