Monday, December 19, 2005


Underbelly News
Downtown Eastside


I was pleased when my good friend Kelly McDonald, who is an outstanding Aboriginal leader, decided to leave her new post as Deputy Child & Youth Officer for the province of BC. Kelly McDonald, who previously sat on the police board and made a number of significant changes for our aboriginal community along with former Councillor Lynne Kennedy has decided it isn't worth it, having to butt heads in an area (aboriginal affairs) where the government is tragically failing our aboriginal children and youth.

It must feel like Deja-vu all over again for Ms McDonald who previously had to deal with the immature bully boy, Larry Campbell while she served on the police board.

However, by resigning, Ms McDonald has once again, provided a cherished Gift to her People.

She has been appointed to another high profile position which will be announced shortly. This one will provide a stable environment and vehicle in which she will be free to fundamentally affect positive policy changes for our people.

With Ms McDonald's departure from the Child and Youth (Aboriginal Services) office, she will now be free to speak out on the thorny issues of aboriginal child apprehension, children in care and abuse on reserves. I might add, thankfully so, since the current crop of aboriginal leadership which were to provide a strong voice in partnership with the government's Children and Youth office, instead has abdicated their role and as a result is failing our young children and youth.

Leaders of the First Nations Summit, United Native Nations, Metis Provincial Council and Union of BC Indian Chiefs has been painfully silent around the recent news of young aboriginal child and youth exploitation, child neglect and abuse & family violence on a number of BC reserves.

The strongest voice has been that of Mr Adrien Dix, NDP MLA and of course Ms McDonald. Keeping in place the status quo pertaining to aboriginal children and youth violence is not acceptable and our current crop of supposed leaders need to begin speaking out. Our children are counting on it.

Jamie Lee Hamilton