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Sunday, June 20, 2021

'I, Ben Miljure, am an Indigenous man': Kamloops tragedy a moment of truth for CTV News journalist #60sScoop

 The next generation of 60s Scoop survivors...

 

My aunt tells me she and my mother are both survivors of the '60s Scoop, a period of time when government policies allowed child welfare authorities to easily take Indigenous children from their families, place them in foster homes, and in many cases adopt them out to white families. It’s all part of a cycle of trauma and I’m finally beginning to see my place within it.

It was against this backdrop that I found myself covering the confirmation of those 215 school children’s remains buried on the grounds of the Kamloops Indian Residential School, and the emotions I had so carefully kept in check all these years came unexpectedly flooding out. 

I sobbed my way through the report, barely able to pronounce the words, as all of the forces that have shaped my life, and my family’s lives, and the lives of so many generations of my fellow Indigenous people, seemed to swirl around me.

Initially, I was embarrassed. But with reflection over the past few days, I realize that I have nothing to be ashamed of, but clearly a lot of work to do.I am still figuring out what that will look like, but I know it will involve an effort to reclaim my cultural identity and learn how I fit within the 'Na̱mg̱is First Nation, and establish stronger ties with my people.We also have a lot of work to do as a country, to confront the terrible atrocities that led us to this place where we are all burdened by a dark and shameful legacy that begins with the residential school system, leading to the '60s Scoop, and continuing today with blatant inequality in the child welfare and criminal justice systems.

It is time for all Canadians to learn the true history of this country’s terrible and ongoing mistreatment of Indigenous people — because only then can true healing and reconciliation begin. For me, that journey of understanding begins now.

READ: 'I, Ben Miljure, am an Indigenous man': Kamloops tragedy a moment of truth for CTV News journalist | CTV News

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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.

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