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Support Info: If you are a Survivor and need emotional support, a national crisis line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week: Residential School Survivor Support Line: 1-866-925-4419. Additional Health Support Information: Emotional, cultural, and professional support services are also available to Survivors and their families through the Indian Residential Schools Resolution Health Support Program. Services can be accessed on an individual, family, or group basis.” These & regional support phone numbers are found at https://nctr.ca/contact/survivors/ .

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You are not alone

You are not alone

Monday, January 17, 2022

“I’m no longer a lost child. My story matters. That’s what I’m taking home: I matter.”

 


Burden of proof

After the residential school in Nova Scotia closed in the late ‘60s, Debbie Paul was kidnapped by a nun and brought to a white family in the U.S. She always told people this, but was missing the evidence. Until now.

WARNING: This story contains distressing details.

Standing at the site of the former Shubenacadie Indian Residential School in Nova Scotia, Debbie Paul clutches a black and white picture of herself taken when it shut down in June 1967.

Paul was the last Mi’kmaw student to leave.

“This picture was taken to give to my mother and my mother never received it,” said Paul, who lives in the Sipekne’katik First Nation, just five kilometres away from the former residential school.

In the photo, she is 12 years old, wearing new shoes and a new watch, unaware her life was about to take an incredible turn. Rather than return Paul to her mother, a nun with the Sisters of Charity – Halifax took her without consent to live with a white family in the United States.

When Paul pushed for answers years later, her mother said she just never came home when the school closed. “She signed no papers for me to be adopted out or taken across the United States border,” said Paul.

Debbie Paul, age 12, outside the Shubenacadie Indian Residential School on the day it closed in June 1967. (Submitted by Debbie Paul)

After the residential school closed and the rest of the students left, that nun, Sister Mary Gilberta, kept Paul back at the institution. Paul says she told her to keep out of sight. Within days, they left for the airport.

Paul would spend the next year with Sister Gilberta’s brother, John Wentworth, and his wife, Mary, in Massachusetts.

“They took me without permission,” said Paul. “And all that family did was abuse me.”

Debbie Paul survived the residential school only to become part of the Sixties Scoop, the practice of adopting or fostering Indigenous kids to white families.

Canada signed a class-action settlement agreement in 2017 and within a year, survivors of the Sixties Scoop, like Paul, were able to apply for compensation.

“I think I deserve it, to live the end of my life,” said Paul, who is now 66. “Because I went through hell.”

But in March 2020, her claim was rejected. She wasn’t told why, but she has a strong suspicion. Collectiva, the administrator for the Sixties Scoop class action settlement, can access adoption and foster records, which for the most part are held by the provinces. But Sister Gilberta acted on her own, leaving no apparent paper trail.

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Canada's Residential Schools

The religious organizations that operated the schools — the Anglican Church of Canada, Presbyterian Church in Canada, United Church of Canada, Jesuits of English Canada and some Catholic groups — in 2015 expressed regret for the “well-documented” abuses. The Catholic Church has never offered an official apology, something that Trudeau and others have repeatedly called for.

no arrests?

Crime Scene

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What our Nations are up against!

What our Nations are up against!

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.

Did you know?

Did you know?
lakota.cc/16I9p4D

Did you know?

New York’s 4o-year battle for OBC access ended when on January 15 2020, OBCs were opened to all New York adoptees upon request without restriction. In only three days, over 3,600 adoptees filed for their record of birth. The bill that unsealed records was passed 196-12.

Diane Tells His Name

where were you adopted?

where were you adopted?

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

ADOPTION TRUTH

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.

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