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Metis girls in B.C. gov’t care face sexual violence more than other injuries: report

An eagle feather is held up during a rally for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on October 4, 2016.
An eagle feather is held up during a rally for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on October 4, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

British Columbia’s children’s advocate says findings of an investigation into critical injuries and deaths among Metis children in government care are troubling.

Jennifer Charlesworth has issued a report analyzing data from 2015 to 2017, and it shows sexualized violence is the most common type of injury among females.

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The report says Metis children and youth who experienced critical injuries were rarely placed with Metis families and were not being connected with their culture.

It says the experiences of Metis children, youth and families have been categorized as Indigenous, causing their issues to go unaddressed.

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The report examines 183 injuries that were reported for 117 Metis children and youth during the three years, with 95 per cent of the individuals being in government care when they were injured.

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The Children’s Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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“Neurodevelopmental disorders and mental health concerns were evident for Metis children and youth in care who experienced critical injuries,” the reports says.

It highlights suicide attempts as the second-most commonly reported critical injury type for Metis youth, representing 33 of the cases examined.

“Four of the 17 deaths of Metis children and youth that were part of this review were completed suicides,” the report says.