What's in a name

Earlier, we reported on the appointment of Deb Foxcroft as children and family development's new assistant deputy minister of aboriginal services. According to an email sent to civil servants by her boss Lesley du Toit, Ms. Foxcroft is "presently Chair of the Aboriginal Chairs Caucus and the Chair for VIAT" as well as formerly being "Director of the first delegated Agency." Impressive credentials, to be sure. But what might the name of that agency be? Well, somewhat surprisingly, Ms. du Toit doesn't mention it in her communique. But our astute readers will know the first delegated agency in the province was Usma Nuu chah nulth Family and Child Services - the same organization that placed toddler Sherry Charlie in the care of a relative who eventually killed her. To be clear, though, Ms. Foxcroft wasn't the director of Usma at the time that placement occurred, having moved on from the agency in 1999 - three years before the tragedy. And, in an interview with Public Eye, children and family development communications director Kelly Gleeson added, "We are proud to have Deb as the first Aboriginal ADM of this ministry - something that has been supported and recognized by all aboriginal leadership in the province."

"Deb has 25 years of social services and child welfare experience. She was the first director of Usma and it is her work and vision that helped establish the model from which delegated agencies across the province now exist." In addition, she "developed the first child care funding initiative for reserves in BC, she has been involved at the provincial and national level in First Nations child care policy, she is internationally recognized for her role in indigenous human rights, and she has received the Order of BC and been recognized by the Children's League of Canada for community service."

4 Comments

Sean, the tone of this comment is totally unacceptable. The implication is that Debbie Foxcroft is not a suitable candidate for a position as ADM in the Provincial Public Service.

In fact Debbie has an impecable reputation, and created an agency for the NuuChahNulth that exceeded every professional standard. That was a huge task, down at a time when the idea of delegating authority to First Nations for Child Welfare was unheard of. She did an absolutely remarkable job.

She was long gone from USMA when the issue you note arose.

This comment has been distributed now by the UBCIC, since it was an open posting, and I think it needs to be retracted by you, and quickly.

It reflects badly on The Public Eye, to leave it as it stands.

Who is Susan anderson Behn when she is at work, who speaks against a blog? Maybe you are right, maybe she is. Let's all find out

Susan Anderson Behn makes excellent points and I agree with her that Deb's was an inspired appointment. It takes a lot of guts for someone, especially a First Nations woman, to move into government and what she is due is congratulations, collaboration and very best wishes. Who better to be so
closely involved with the work of MCFD in the context of First Nations than the very able and very committed Deb Foxcroft! She'll have a learning curve and I feel sure that her colleagues will recognize that they will as well and welcome it. This is cross-cultural work at it's best.

What is wrong with the "tone" of Sean Holman's post? It seems identical in tone to all of his other posts. Mr. Holman's style might not be preferred by all, but he definitely isn't singling out Deb Foxcroft for unfair treatment.

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