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PHOTOS: Prince George’s Parents Legal Centre aims to protect Indigenous children

Organization centres focus on keeping indigenous families together
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A ceremonial blessing this morning (Aug. 23) was fitting for the Parents Legal Centre (PLC) in Prince George.

Lheidli T’enneh Elder Violet Bozoki cleansed those who were in attendance at the organization’s 10th location in B.C., who have been operating for a couple of months before today’s official grand opening, as the centre has an Indigenous focus on providing its services.

The purpose of the PLC is to provide representatives to parents whose children who are at risk of being removed from their families or their home.

According to Gail Murray, Vice-President of Indigenous Services with the Legal Services Society, there are hundreds of children in the north central region who are in care as a result of these incidences.

“The PLC is our response to the crisis levels of children in care in B.C., particularly Indigenous children,” said Murray, who adds 83 per cent of those regional children are indigenous. “Prince George was identified as a location where we could potentially make an impact, by assisting parents in finding ways to keep their families together, whenever possible.”

Situations vary when a child is taken away by social workers, but the majority of circumstances are claims of safety concerns.

PLC’s philosophy is having representation for those families in court, mediation, and other meetings and connect parents to other potential services should the situation call for it.

This includes counselling, addictions treatment, or housing if the environment where the child is living is deemed unsafe.

Right now, 63 per cent of children in care across all of B.C. are Indigenous.

Other northern B.C. locations include Terrace, Smithers, and Williams Lake.

Prince George’s facility aids families ranging from Quesnel to Mackenzie and Fort St. James to Valemount.




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Kyle  Balzer

About the Author: Kyle Balzer

Kyle Balzer graduated with distinction from BCIT's Broadcast & Online Journalism program in 2016. Since moving to Prince George, he has covered a variety of stories from education & Indigenous relations, to community interests & sports.
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