‘They failed us’: Manitoba mother of girl who died while in care speaks out about her death

The family of an infant who died while in the care of child and family services in Manitoba is demanding answers from the province.

On Monday, the family was advised their four month-old daughter died while in a Winnipeg foster home.

“They told us that my daughter passed away choking on her bottle or vomit,” said the girl’s mother Daralyn Green.

“There’s so many questions. I need answers.”

The Winnipeg police say they are investigating the death of Vanatasia Green to determine if there was any wrong-doing.

The family is from Bloodvein First Nation – located 200 kilometres north of Winnipeg.

Green says her daughter was apprehended at birth but reasons for the apprehension are not known.

“I don’t know why they didn’t give me a chance,” said Green. “They give other mothers a chance and that was my first baby.”

Martina Fisher is a former social worker and family friend.

She said the family wants to focus on the larger issue at hand.

The apprehensions of Indigenous kids.

“There is always a chance to work with the mother, to work with the family, to work with out communities,” said Fisher.

The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs women’s council organized the press conference.

Chief Francine Meeches, of Swan Lake First Nation said  the province should hand over jurisdiction to First Nations.

“Something needs to change here. We’ve been working as a team our women’s council we’ve been trying to change legislation in this country,” said Meeches.

“In our province and we’re struggling with that because nobody seems to see what the need is.”

According to the province there are 10,328 kids in care.

Approximately 90 per cent of them are Indigenous.

The family says if things don’t change more deaths will occur.

“She’s not going to be the last if somebody doesn’t do something about this,” said Green.

In a statement Families Minister Heather Stefanson said the department is looking into the girl’s death.

“We know the CFS agency and authority responsible for the child’s care are gathering information to find the family the answers it needs,” said the statement.

A spokesperson for the Southern First Nations Network of Care, which oversees the agency, says they could not comment on the case.

The girl’s death comes on the heels of a damning report from Manitoba’s children’s advocate who looked into the death of Tina Fontaine.

“CFS failed my daughter,” said Green. “They failed us.”

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