Get new posts by email:

How to Use this Blog

BOOZHOO! We've amassed tons of information and important history on this blog since 2010. If you have a keyword, use the search box below. Also check out the reference section above. If you have a question or need help searching, use the contact form at the bottom of the blog.

We want you to use BOOKSHOP! (the editor will earn a small amount of money or commission. (we thank you) (that is our disclaimer statement)

This is a blog. It is not a peer-reviewed journal, not a sponsored publication... WE DO NOT HAVE ADS or earn MONEY from this website. The ideas, news and thoughts posted are sourced… or written by the editor or contributors.

EMAIL ME: (outlook email is gone)


Sunday, August 11, 2019

60s Scoop adoptee: Eric Schweig

Eric Schweig
Born:  Ray Dean Thrasher

 on 19 June 1967 
OccupationActor/Artisan/Outreach Worker
Years active1989-present

Schweig was born in Inuvik, Northwest Territories. He is of mixed race (Inuvialuk, Chippewa-Dene and German).[2] He is the oldest of seven children, who were all adopted out as part of the Canadian government's failed attempt at forcing Inuit and First Nations children to assimilate into white society. Schweig's biological mother died of alcoholism in 1989. He never met her. "She didn’t drink a drop of alcohol until we were taken away," says Schweig. "We were part of the whole assimilation program—forcibly taken away, although my adoptive parents told me I wasn't."[3] Schweig was adopted at six months of age by an English speaking German-French family.[4] He spent his childhood in Inuvik until he was six, when his family moved to Bermuda. They later moved back to Canada.
"I eventually grew tired of living in a prison without walls and ran away when I was 16. What transpired between then and now has been a roller coaster of alcohol, drugs, violence, failed relationships, despair and confusion. Who am I? Where do I come from? Where is my family? Where do I belong? When life's mystery has been shattered by strangers watching over you, a lot of these questions are lost." [5]
Schweig ran away to Toronto, Ontario, where he supported himself by framing houses. In 1985, he was part of the cast of The Cradle Will Fall, an experimental adaptation of Frank Wedekind's Spring Awakening produced by Theatre of Change at the Actor's Lab; this was his first experience as an actor. In 1987, at twenty years old, he was approached by a producer who suggested he audition for a role in the movie called The Shaman's Source (1990). With little formal education or experience he won the role. The film launched his career in the film industry. (wiki)


the artist with one of his masks
Eric Schweig Adoption Speech

The following speech was given by Eric Schweig on February 19, 1999 at the Vancouver Inner City Foster Care Conference. Invited to the conference to share his own experiences and perspectives, Eric was pleased to have the opportunity to speak on a topic close to his heart. The ramifications and issues surrounding interracial/cultural adoption are, for him, much more than a topic. They are the legacy he has been given; they are what has made him who he is ... and who he is not. It is very much the spirit behind his art; certainly the tragic inspiration for his Adoption Masks. To fully appreciate the Inuit Masks, the Adoption Masks, and all else that Eric carves, one must first appreciate the heart & motivation that creates them.
His participation in the conference was a chance to encourage more involvement on the part of the native community, be they extended family or neighbors, in the plight and care of children who desperately need someone to intervene and protect. It was also meant as a plea to replace governmental paternalism with community assistance.

These words are, according to Eric Schweig, his "mission statement."
"We can never go home because the concept of home is lost on us."
Adoption of aboriginal children by Caucasian couples is to me, for lack of a better term 'State Sanctioned Kidnapping.' Too often Euro-American couples are preoccupied with the romantic notion of having a "real live Indian baby" or a "real live Inuit baby" which instantly transforms the child into an object rather than a person. For decades our communities' babies have been unceremoniously wrenched from the hands of their biological parents and subjected to a plethora of abuses. Physical abuse, mental abuse, sexual abuse and a host of others. I have first-hand knowledge of this because I was one of those children. For years my adoptive parents beat me bloody on a regular basis. I've been trapped in rooms naked and beaten with belt buckles, hockey sticks, extension cords, and once with a horsewhip.
I'm not saying this to shock you or to gain pity; I'm just stating fact. I eventually grew tired of living in a prison without walls and ran away when I was 16. What transpired between then and now has been a roller coaster of alcohol, drugs, violence, failed relationships, despair and confusion. Who am I? Where do I come from? Where is my family? Where do I belong? When life's mystery has been shattered by strangers watching over you, a lot of these questions are lost.
There has been some good times as well, regardless, but for reasons that I've just started to understand, there has always been an impending sense of doom that controlled my actions and behavior, but now that I've been clean and sober for 8 months and actually started working on myself I'm beginning to step out of my father's shadow and into the light of day where life isn't so murky or such a struggle. 
  There are many of us who have been raised in this manner and not just aboriginal people. A myriad of different ethnic groups have suffered the pain and humiliation of being brought up by certain morally bankrupt individuals who seem to get their kicks out of abusing children.
I shouldn't neglect to say that there are some, not many, but some Euro-American parents who have raised their adopted aboriginal children in a stable and loving environment. But for the majority of us, living as a young aboriginal person growing up in an environment with that much hostility and disregard is an all too early lesson in pain and loneliness.
I haven't even begun to speak about the cultural devastation that occurs when an adopted teenage aboriginal person wakes up one day and realizes just how different they are from the world around them. How differently they are regarded at school, in the mall, on the street, and at home. The racial slurs in public, the condescending looks from strangers that sometimes turns into outright violence, depending on the situation.
And what about the aboriginal mothers and fathers who will probably never forget the new baby smell that babies always seem to have, and who will never be able to see them again? Can you imagine the profound longing in their hearts that they feel every day their child is gone?
A lot of us are discarded, lost, and wander into self imposed exile only to be devoured by the system because we have no idea where it is that we belong. We end up being "nowhere people" with absolutely nothing to hang on to; nothing to keep us grounded and safe. We can never go home because the concept of home is lost on us.
So my hat goes off to those of us who have survived the ordeal with our souls intact and still above ground, and my prayers go out to those who haven't.
Many of us are dead. Many of our biological mothers and fathers are dead because the absence of their children forced them to give up, and lose themselves in alcohol or drugs and eventually die from broken hearts.
I have an urgent appeal to the Canadian government, or any government that advocates the adoption of aboriginal children to Euro-American parents. If you insist upon taking our children away from us, or if they have to be removed for their safety or well being, let aboriginal people handle it. Your paternalism is insulting, and to coin a phrase, "it's getting old." Let "us" find a safe environment for them, that is either within or in reasonable proximity of their respective communities, and assist us in doing so.
We are not all 100% healed, but healing takes time, and we've waited 500 years already, I don't see how a month or two of decision and law making by you will matter much.
In the meantime, I hope other adopted adult or teenage aboriginal children of these so called parents are listening and remember that no matter how lost you feel, how lonely it is, or how scared you feel, reach out by any means within your power, because somewhere there might be a man and a woman who look just like you and who are bound to you by blood, who never forgot about you, and are still waiting to meet you and invite you back to a place that is your RIGHT to belong in. Your community, your family, and your home.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak about an issue that is scarcely recognized. It means the world to me.


  1. Thank you with all my heart for the splendid testimony of life, courage and inner strength of Mr. Schweig

  2. You are very welcome. Eric speaks the truth so very well.

  3. My heart aches each time I read this article, I'm filled with anger. The world needs to know this piece of history and hope there isn't a repeat.

    1. Eric shares your anger, Unknown. Share this with your friends so they know too.

  4. Very heartbreaking but it took a lot of courage to come forth with the truth God bless him to continue with a happy successful full life

  5. This came up on my feed (maybe because of another Native American site I support) This truth is so heartbreaking, and I so admire the courage it must have taken to share that. I pray for a country and a world where atrocities like this stop.I pray for those who have and continue to suffer- what could be worse than having no sense of self, of belonging somewhere,having been ripped from your culture so young as to not know it or be able to return to it. I pray for you, Sir that you will continue to speak of the horrible injustice and make the rest of the world aware by every means at your disposal. There are some of us who despise the assault of it all just as you do. God Bless

  6. I am aware of the disgraceful things both our governments have done to their indigenous peoples. My mother was adopted from a French family in either Maine or New Hampshire. She seemed to think that there was some Native American in her background, but have never been able to find out. Saw you in Last of the Mohicans and at how beautiful you were. I contribute small amounts to the St Joseph Lakota Indian School in South Dakota and one day hope to visit there. Now that this pandemic has struck them so severely, I hope to do something however small to help. How strong you are, and I know how abuse can pretty much destroy you and why why this has happened to you. Stay strong, and keep speaking out. Those of us who care about not only you, but the hundreds/thousands of children who have suffered - we stand behind you.

  7. Mr. Schweig, it takes a strong spirit to call out any country that does anything so horrible and devastating as taking a child away from parents! Being a mom myself, and loosing a child, that pain will never heal and I keep all these children in my prayers! And you as well for all you and others like you do in advocating for them! Your spirit and aura are strong, thank you for what you do!!

  8. Another genocide. For how many centuries must these criminal acts continue! It is simply so awful, so vicious that it is incomprehensible. These actions are not just happening in Canada, not just in the United States, but everywhere on earth! Children are lifted away from their culture, their families and, as a result, get large irreparable scars on soul and body. It will be an honor, one day, to be allowed to hear Mr. Schweig speak. All his experiences and all his knowledge will no doubt be able to be used by all the rest of us, so that we can work against what happens in other societies, that through his words we can recall the terrible injustices when we meet them, or hear about them elsewhere in the world.

  9. Ani Eric. My Name Is Candyrose Freeman. Years Ago I Was On FB. Not For 8 Years. I Have A Picture For You Of Lynn Thompson, When She Was 16 and We Shared A Group/Foster Home In WPG.My Mother Born In Treaty 1 Territory1931. An Identical Twin,They Were Separated at about 41/2 My Mother Spent Until 18 In Residential School,Till She Was 18... In Cardiff Wales!!!!She Was Very Well Achedemicly, Educated. Never Found Her Sister Nor Family... Met My Father,In Hiedleberg (American Army) Mom(Research Librarian) Specialized In Root Languages. He Was The First"Indian" She Had Met... I Was A Result Of A Date Rape, Then She Did What Alot Did... She Married Him... Got Worse From There.. Through Domestic Violence,She Lost Her Sight. The State Took Us... I Personally Was A Ward Of The State of California, Province of Manitoba And Ontario. I Am Greatfully, Alive And Healing. Miigweech For Everything,You Are Sharing. I Am Honored To Share. All Our Relations. : )

  10. Hello I come from the Redlake Indian reservation in Northern Minnesota and I was raised by my grandfather's because in the 60 scoop the government took a younger sister from my mother and the scars they leave will never go away. I was brought back to live with my mother after I lost the only protection I had, life was very hard for me to get use of because my grandfather's brought me up in the traditional way. I'm slowly getting use to living the word's that were told to me. So thanks for the time in letting me tell my experience of what I went through.

  11. wow, what a story. Congrats to you rizing above all ur tribulations and becoming a stellar role model today! keep rizing! Cant wait to see the next projects your gonna complete!


Please: Share your reaction, your thoughts, and your opinions. Be passionate, be unapologetic. Offensive remarks will not be published. We are getting more and more spam. Comments will be monitored.
Use the comment form at the bottom of this website which is private and sent direct to Trace.

Wilfred Buck Tells The Story Of Mista Muskwa

Happy Visitors!

They Took Us Away

They Took Us Away
click image to see more and read more

Blog Archive

Most READ Posts


You are not alone

You are not alone

To Veronica Brown

Veronica, we adult adoptees are thinking of you today and every day. We will be here when you need us. Your journey in the adopted life has begun, nothing can revoke that now, the damage cannot be undone. Be courageous, you have what no adoptee before you has had; a strong group of adult adoptees who know your story, who are behind you and will always be so.

Diane Tells His Name

click photo

60s Scoop Survivors Legal Support


Lost Birds on Al Jazeera Fault Lines

Lost Birds on Al Jazeera Fault Lines
click to read and listen about Trace, Diane, Julie and Suzie


As the single largest unregulated industry in the United States, adoption is viewed as a benevolent action that results in the formation of “forever families.”
The truth is that it is a very lucrative business with a known sales pitch. With profits last estimated at over $1.44 billion dollars a year, mothers who consider adoption for their babies need to be very aware that all of this promotion clouds the facts and only though independent research can they get an accurate account of what life might be like for both them and their child after signing the adoption paperwork.


Original Birth Certificate Map in the USA

Why tribes do not recommend the DNA swab

Rebecca Tallbear entitled: “DNA, Blood, and Racializing the Tribe”, bearing out what I only inferred:

Detailed discussion of the Bering Strait theory and other scientific theories about the population of the modern-day Americas is beyond the scope of this essay. However, it should be noted that Indian people have expressed suspicion that DNA analysis is a tool that scientists will use to support theories about the origins of tribal people that contradict tribal oral histories and origin stories. Perhaps more important,the alternative origin stories of scientists are seen as intending to weaken tribal land and other legal claims (and even diminish a history of colonialism?) that are supported in U.S. federal and tribal law. As genetic evidence has already been used to resolve land conflicts in Asian and Eastern European countries, this is not an unfounded fear.

Google Followers