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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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Saturday, May 14, 2022

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

US Boarding School Report


US boarding school investigative report released

By Kalle Benallie
The findings show the federal Indian boarding school system consisted of at least 408 federal schools across 37 states and roughly 53 different schools had been identified with marked or unmarked burial sites ... continue reading

 


The Assistant Secretary Releases the Boarding School Report

Here:

Boarding_School_Initiative_Volume_1_Investigative_Report_May_2022

Assistant Secretary Newland makes eight recommendations to the Secretary of the Interior to fulfill the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative, including producing a list of marked and unmarked burial sites at Federal Indian boarding schools and an approximation of the total amount of Federal funding used to support the Federal Indian boarding school system, including any monies that may have come from Tribal and individual Indian trust accounts held in trust by the United States. Assistant Secretary Newland ultimately concludes that further investigation is required to determine the legacy impacts of the Federal Indian boarding school system on American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians today.


 

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

‘Remembering the Children’ memorial gets $2 million grant

 

 

Community members stand in prayer at a hillside in South Dakota that is believed to the the site of unmarked graves of children who died at the long-shuttered Rapid City Indian Boarding School. Plans to build a first-in-the-nation memorial to children who died at the school are moving forward with a recent $2 million donation. (Photo courtesy of Rapid City Indian Boarding School Memorial Project)

Stewart Huntington
Special to Indian Country Today

RAPID CITY, South Dakota — A memorial planned to honor children who died at an Indian boarding school has received a $2 million grant that pushes the project beyond its initial fundraising targets.

The Remembering the Children memorial — envisioned as a place of prayer, gathering, and remembrance on a hillside near the site of the former Rapid City Indian Boarding School — received the grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

It is the largest single donation to date for the project, which has received numerous contributions from the Rapid City community and a $100,000 donation from the Monument Lab, a nonprofit working to cultivate critical conversations around past, present and future public art.

A private funder is also underwriting South Dakota Artist Laureate Dale Lampher’s work on sculptures that will be included in the project.

Keep Reading 

Related stories:
— Historic settlement inches closer in SD land dispute
— 'They are not forgotten'
— Rapid City puts up $9M for Native center

 

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Land Back in the 2020s #LandBack




There is no blueprint for how to return stolen land, but with thousands of acres returned to Indigenous care over the past two years alone, we know it can be done. 

SOURCE

Friday, May 6, 2022

Meet the Makers #ChildrenBack #MMIW

 WATCH IT

America ReFramed

Daughter of a Lost Bird

Season 10  Episode 4

Kendra, a Native adoptee, is a thriving woman who grew up in a loving, upper middle-class white family, and feels no significant loss with the absence of Indigenous culture or family in her life. And yet, as a Blackfeet/Salish woman, director Brooke Swaney could not imagine that Kendra could be content or complete without understanding her heritage. Together, they embark on a seven-year journey featured in the film.

During this journey, Kendra finds her biological mother April Kowalski after being apart for 34 years. April, also an adoptee, is a survivor of abuse, addiction, homelessness, and sex trafficking. Kendra and April must navigate what it means to be native and to belong to a tribe from the outside looking in. DAUGHTER OF A LOST BIRD documents the complex process of finding oneself in the context of a history filled with both trauma and resiliency.


 

MEET THE MAKERS: DAUGHTER OF A LOST BIRD

Listen to an in-depth conversation with 'Daughter of a Lost Bird' filmmaker Brooke Swaney and other thought leaders about the generational effects of adoption on Native American families and how communities are advocating for justice and tribal sovereignty. Georgiana Lee-Ausen and Cynthia M. Ruiz also take time to recognize National Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Awareness Day, a time when the Indigenous communities and allies gather to remember, honor and raise voices of women who have been silenced. Listen now!

Daughter of a Lost Bird

 READ THIS AMAZING REVIEW


America ReFramed

Daughter of a Lost Bird | Trailer | Season 10 Episode 4

 

Here are some of the other resources I suggest to learn more about Native American adoption in the U.S.: 

MMIP webcast DOI | Not Invisible Act Commission

 WEBCAST: Missing and Murdered (MMIP) WATCH


National Missing or Murdered Indigenous Persons Awareness Day Event

transcript

Deb: I'm Secretary Deb Haaland at I'm honored to join you from the ancestral homelands of the Anacostia and Piscataway people on what President Biden has proclaimed as National Missing or Murdered Indigenous Persons Awareness Day. I wish we didn't need to be here. I wish that this day was obsolete, that we didn't have to keep fighting year after year for our people to be honored and respected. But we are here. And I want to use today to shine a light on the national crisis of missing and murdered indigenous peoples and give space to others to share the work they are doing on this issue. Everyone deserves to feel safe in their communities, but the MMIP crisis is one that communities have faced since the dawn of colonization. For too long, this issue has been swept under the rug by our government with a lack of urgency, attention, or funding. The rates of missing persons cases and violence against American Indian, Alaska native, and native Hawaiian communities are disproportionate, alarming, and unacceptable. It is heartbreaking to know that our loved ones are at an increased risk of disappearing without warning, leaving families and communities devastated. I want to extend my gratitude to the organizers, advocates, native women who have been shedding light on MMIP crisis for decades. People who have had an empty chair at their kitchen tables, loved ones who tirelessly searched or their relatives, service providers who hear the heartbreaking stories of family members of the missing. I want you to know that I see you and I stand with you. In our first year, there is much the Biden-Harris administration has done to take this issue seriously. As many of you know, last year, I announce the formation of a new missing and murdered unit within the Bureau of Indian affairs office of Justice services to provide leadership and direction across departmental and interagency work involving missing and murdered American Indians and Alaska natives. The MMU is marshaling resources across agencies and throughout Indian country to focus on this crisis. Since the launch ofMMU, the department has built up personnel and increased infrastructure capacity by launching new offices. Today, 17 BIA offices located throughout the nation have at least one agent dedicated to solving missing and murder cases for American Indians and Alaska natives. In December, the BIA announced on lots of its new website dedicated to solving missing and murder cases in Indian country. The website is bia.gov/mmu. Bia.gov/mmu. The site is an important tool to help law enforcement, families, and communities to share critical information about missing and murdered individuals that can help the MMU solve cases and give closure to families. The website showcases individual missing and murdered case profiles that can be quickly shared via social media and other digital media to raise visibility of victims. It also provides multiple pathways to submit important tips and other case information that may help investigators with detection or investigation of an offense committed in Indian country. The MMU has enabled the Department to expand its collaborative efforts with other agencies such as working to enhance the DOJ's national missing and unidentified persons system. Staff are also developing strategic partnerships with additional stakeholders such as the FBI, behavioral analysis units, FBI forensic laboratories , U.S. marshals missing child unit, and the National Center for missing and exploited children. This unit and interior will continue to engage in collaborative efforts with tribal, federal, and state stakeholders to ensure accurate data and enhance community outreach. The MMU is a critical tool in our work to address this crisis, and today, we announce steps for another. In Congress, the Not Invisible Act now in partnership with the Justice Department and with extensive engagement with tribes and other stakeholders, we are putting that law into action. Today, our agencies announce the membership of the new Not Invisible Act Commission which we formed the last year. For the first time, the interior and Justice Department will be guided by an advisory committee composed of law enforcement, tribal leaders, federal partners, service providers, family members of missing and murdered individuals, and most importantly, survivors. This commission will ensure that we hear the voices of those who are most impacted by this issue. It includes diverse experience, backgrounds, and geographies to provide balance once of use. The commission will hold hearings, take estimate, and -- testimonies, and receive evidence to develop recommendations for the federal government to combat violent crimes against indigenous people. The missing and murdered indigenous peoples crisis is centuries in the making, and it will take a focused effort and time to unravel the many threads that contribute to the alarming rates. I'm grateful to those of you who rang the alarm and gave a voice to the missing. My heart goes out to the families of loved ones who were impacted by violence. We will keep working to address this issue and together, I believe we will provide justice for survivors and families. And that I will turn the floor over to Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco, who will share recorded remarks for today's event. 

keep reading👇

Deported, Not Forgotten Panel, Nov 16 2021

At the Adoption Initiative Conference in 2022, this discussion came full circle. Daniel was a panel speaker for a discussion on Adoptees as Immigrants [link ➤]

BLOG POST: PLEASE READ THIS

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Indigenous Abolitionists Are Organizing for Healing and Survival

“This really is a time of action,” says Indigenous organizer Morning Star Gali. 

By Kelly Hayes, Truthout | April 28, 2022

 LINK: https://truthout.org/audio/indigenous-abolitionists-are-organizing-for-healing-and-survival/

Activists march for missing and murdered Indigenous women at the Women's March California 2019 on January 19, 2019, in Los Angeles, California. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Cheyenne River's First-of-its-Kind Village for Native American children

From Simply Smiles: Receiving Tribal Council Approval: The vote was unanimous to adopt a formal resolution of support that authorized the creation of the Simply Smiles Children's Village.

Pictured above: Simply Smiles Village Director Marcella Gilbert and Simply Smiles President and Founder Bryan Nurnberger, formerly of Naugatuck, seen here with activist and Village advisor Madonna Thunder Hawk, member of the Waśagiya Najin Standing Strong Grandmothers' Group of Native elders, after securing a formal resolution of tribal support, including from Tribal Chairman Harold C. Frazier.

As Simply Smiles nears completion of our Children's Village of foster homes on the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe in South Dakota, this features the challenges encountered and milestones reached in creating this first-of-its-kind endeavor for Native American children.

The Tribal Council of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe voted unanimously to adopt a formal resolution of support that authorized the creation of the Simply Smiles Children's Village.

The trust and partnerships Simply Smiles built over our first decade working on the Reservation made this vital step possible. Our pro-bono Native attorneys at Kilpatrick & Townsend drafted the detailed resolution and the Waśagiya Najin Standing Strong Grandmothers' Group of Native elders, led by the legendary activist Madonna Thunder Hawk, guided the resolution of support through the tribal government to unanimous approval and adoption.

This agreement allowed us to begin building and developing the Simply Smiles Children's Village and solidified our shared commitment to provide a child placement option that fulfills the spirit of the Indian Child Welfare Act by ensuring that Native children who have been removed from their homes can remain with kin and community.

Simply Smiles Village Director Marcella Gilbert and Simply Smiles President and Founder Bryan Nurnberger seen here with activist and Village advisor Madonna Thunder Hawk, member of the Waśagiya Najin Standing Strong Grandmothers' Group of Native elders, after securing a formal resolution of tribal support, including from Tribal Chairman Harold C. Frazier.

Stay tuned for the next email in the Creating the Reservation Village series: Becoming A Licensed Foster Care Agency & Professionalizing Foster Care

LINK

‘60s Scoop survivor Leah Ballantyne grew up thinking she was the only one

 VIDEO

‘Growing up I kind of thought, why am I this lone person…”


Leah Ballantyne was just 11 days old when she was adopted out to a Scottish family in Winnipeg – by the time she was 13, she was already searching for her birth parents.

Riding the bus to school through Winnipeg’s downtown core, she would see Indigenous people and wondered if they were relatives.

“Growing up, I kind of thought, why am I this lone person and adopted into a family? Why didn’t my family want me and what were the circumstances? And as I learned that the ‘60s Scoop was actually a part of a process that started with reservations, and the Indian Act, and residential schools, and day schools,” she says on the latest episode of Face to Face.

“Then I realized that I was part of something that was a separation that was going on through government policy.”

The push to finally find out where she came from came after an event in Vancouver.

She says she was inspired by speeches by former Assembly of First Nations national chief Ovide Mercredi and Mohawk Council of Kahnawake grand chief Joe Tokwiro Norton

After, she went digging into her past.

Ballantyne’s birth mother had registered her for a status number at birth so she knew she was from Mathias Colomb Cree Nation. She wrote the chief at the time, the late Pascal Bighetty, asking for help.

Not long after, Ballantyne received a call from Bighetty, who, as it would turn out, was her uncle, telling her he knew who she was and to come home.

Advocating for her community

Ballantyne says the rally and reunification with her community, a “light went on” and she decided she would push for positive changes in law and policy by becoming a lawyer.

To this day, Ballantyne remains the only member of Mathias Colomb Cree Nation to become a lawyer. She is currently working with her nation on child welfare laws and bringing children home, whether they were part of the 60s Scoop, aged out of the care, or still in care.

Ballantyne is vocal about representation and believes those who falsely claim Indigenous identity, should face criminal charges.

“There is a couple of sections in the Criminal Code of Canada for identity and identity fraud and so Indigenous identity fraud is very much a charge that could be laid by any institution that has addressed this kind of issue and people that are claiming false Indigenous identity,” she says.

“And there is no statute of limitation on this type of identity fraud within the Criminal Code.”

KEEP READING

How a Court Challenge Could Put Indigenous Kids at Risk (In The Loop) #ICWA

More than 200 boxes of records under scrutiny by Ottawa, courts for residential school connections

Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Marc Miller says talks ongoing on disclosing of Justice Canada records

COVID Cda 20210616
Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Marc Miller said his department continues to search for documents related to residential schools in Canada. (David Kawai/The Canadian Press)

More than 200 boxes of records are currently under separate court and internal federal reviews to determine their connection to residential schools after they were found in storage facilities within the last year, CBC News has learned.

The records were discovered in Yellowknife and Vancouver storage lockers, according to information provided to CBC News by a Crown-Indigenous Relations (CIRNA) official. 

As a court-appointed firm and federal officials sift through the records, CIRNA Minister Marc Miller said searches continue within his and other departments to find any documents related to the residential school era.

"The state they were found in is entirely unacceptable," Miller said in an interview with CBC News. 

"It is part of this process that I continue as the minister … That work isn't complete and is still ongoing — knowing any piece of information related to that time period can help in closure and getting an understanding of the truth."

The first batch of documents, 125 bankers boxes, was found in June 2021 by the owner of a storage facility in Yellowknife who was clearing out a unit once owned by a now-defunct survivor healing group called the Healing Drum. 

The owner contacted the territory's information commissioner, which then alerted the regional CIRNA office, said Andrew Fox, the Information and Privacy Commissioner for the Northwest Territories.

KEEP READING

Archbishop Justin Welby apologises for "building hell, putting children into it and staffing it"


 

Readers are advised this story mentions the physical and sexual abuse of Indigenous children in institutions. There are no graphic accounts included, but the subject matter may be triggering for some people. 

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby delivered an unequivocal apology to children, grandchildren and survivors of Canadian residential schools over the weekend, describing their experiences as “a bit of hell” that was “built by the Church and in the name of the Church.”

The Anglican Church leader met with dignitaries from Indigenous governments from James Smith Cree Nation and the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, which represents 74 First Nations in Saskatchewan. There, he heard the stories of school survivors about how the residential school system ripped families apart, raised self-doubt and self-confidence issues and left them with traumas as a result of sexual and physical abuse.

“It is the rawest, wickedest, most terrible thing, to molest a child while you read them the Bible,” a sombre Welby told the group after hearing the harrowing accounts.

KEEP READING 



Archbishop of Canterbury apologizes for church's role residential schools - APTN News

The Prince Albert Grand Council, which hosted Archbishop Welby, ... the 94 calls to action laid out by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

 

Saturday, April 30, 2022

Newspaper Editorials Perpetuate Misinformation on ICWA

 

Two Worlds is for sale at Walmart.com

Sarah Deer, Elise Higgins & Thomas White on Racist Editorializing about ICWA

Sarah Deer, Elise Higgins, and Thomas White have published “Editorializing ICWA: 40 Years of Colonial Commentary” in UCLA’s Indigenous Peoples’ Journal of Law, Culture & Resistance.

An excerpt:

Despite studies concluding ICWA has been a successful law to curb the crisis of child removal in Indian country when implemented correctly, a significant number of attorneys, think tanks, and politicians argue that ICWA actually harms Native children and should be repealed. Others argue that ICWA has served its purpose and is no longer necessary. This article considers how newspaper editorials perpetuate misinformation about ICWA, its history and its purpose. Moreover, we explore how anti-ICWA authors employ “words of colonialism”—in particular, the use of derogatory words and phrases to portray Native people as bad parents and Tribal Nations as dysfunctional. Providing inaccurate and racist characterizations of ICWA is one of the primary tactics used by editorials to delegitimize ICWA. Emotionally triggering and wholly inaccurate language is often employed as a sensationalist method to grab the reader’s attention by presenting the law in terms of clear-cut morality.

Frederick Thompson Richards, Life Magazine, 1900  (How long have you been civilized?)

Friday, April 29, 2022

Real Victims of Georgia Tann

Can You Say No? Tann advertised.  Digital Archive of the Memphis Public Libraries
 

5,000 children?

As the executive director of the Tennessee Children's Home Society, Tann got rich by stealing babies from their parents and adopting them out to unsuspecting families. More than 5,000 children were snatched by Tann, and at least 500 children are believed to have died while under her care. This was reported Dec 4, 2019.
 
Actress Joan Crawford brought the dark-haired infants she'd adopted from Tennessee Children's Home Society in Memphis… New York Governor Herbert Lehman purchased at least two infants from Tann. Then Lehman changed the laws in New York State to seal adoption records. The adoptive homes were not vetted thoroughly. Jul 24, 2020

READ: Georgia Tann: The Mastermind of a Black Market Baby Ring That  

Georgia Tann: The Mastermind of a Black Market Baby Ring That Lasted for Three Decades

Tennessee Children’s Home Society in Memphis and the horrors Inside

It is hard to believe that in Memphis, Tennessee, from 1924–1950, children were being stolen from low-income families and adopted out to wealthy ones for a price. But it did happen. 

Robert Taylor, a lawyer who investigated the Tennessee Children’s Home Society scandal for Gov. Gordon Browning, said in his 1992 “60 Minutes” interview.” 
 

For almost three decades, renowned baby-seller Georgia Tann ran a children’s home in Memphis, Tennessee — selling her charges to wealthy clients nationwide, Joan Crawford among them. Part social history, part detective story, part expose, The Baby Thief is a riveting investigative narrative that explores themes that continue to reverberate today. 
 
I read the book BABY THIEF about this child trafficker years ago... What happened to the children who were adopted out and what happened to their mothers... Trace 
Google Georgia Tann to find out...
 

Thursday, April 21, 2022

A Slow Canadian Genocide

 

Yet, almost seven years and thousands of uncovered graves on residential school grounds later, this question should be re-visited. What do we make of Canadian genocide now?

 

George Gordon First Nation announces 14 potential unmarked burial sites at former Sask. residential school

Possible sites found close to former location of Gordon's Indian Residential School

A memorial for the students who attended Gordon's Indian Residential School in George Gordon First Nation. (Kirk Fraser/CBC)

WARNING: This story contains distressing details.

Leaders of George Gordon First Nation in Saskatchewan announced Wednesday that 14 potential unmarked burial sites had been found close to the site of the former Gordon's Indian Residential School.

George Gordon First Nation's chief and council and the band's residential school cemetery committee announced the results of a geophysical investigation Wednesday afternoon. 

Chief Byron Bitternose addressed the media, announcing the discovery of the 14 possible burial sites. He also said the search is not complete.

"In upcoming months this area will be a priority, an area for continued searching," Bitternose said. "It is my hope that one day we will be able to tell our children the whole story of what their great-grandparents, grandparents, parents and siblings endured."

KEEP READING

Chief Byron Bitternose announced on Wednesday that 14 possible unmarked burials have been found near the former Gordon's Indian Residential School. (Bryan Eneas/CBC)

A total of four areas within the First Nation have been searched, he said. One high-probability site was detected.

While the ground-penetrating radar (GPR) data cannot discern if the sites are graves of children, George Gordon First Nation member Sarah Longman says there is a high probability.

Anglican Church's national bishop to Indigenous members resigns over 'acknowledged' sexual misconduct

 Church says Rev. Mark MacDonald's actions amount to a 'betrayal of trust'


Rev. Mark MacDonald, the Anglican Church of Canada's first national Indigenous archbishop, has resigned over what the church is calling "acknowledged" sexual misconduct.

"This is devastating news. The sense of betrayal is deep and profound when leaders fail to live up to the standards we expect and the boundaries we set," wrote Rev. Linda Nicholls, the church's archbishop and primate, in an open letter published on Wednesday.

Nicholls cites a complainant against MacDonald in the letter but no further details about the allegations have been provided by the church.

"First and most importantly, our prayers must be for the complainant whose life has been affected by Mark's actions. The betrayal of trust by someone in such a prominent role of leadership will require a long road of healing and our constant prayers," the letter continues.

A spokesperson for the church declined an interview request from CBC News and said it would not provide any further comment about MacDonald's resignation.

MacDonald, 68, was named the church's first national Indigenous Anglican bishop in 2007, a post which makes him pastoral leader to approximately 225 Indigenous churches, most of them on reserves.

He was elevated to archbishop in 2019.

A biography on the church's website said he served as a minister in Mississauga, Ont., Duluth, Minn., Tomah, Wis., Mauston, Wis., Portland, Ore., and the southeast regional mission of the Diocese of Navajoland during his career.

MacDonald is a graduate of Wycliffe College, a Christian evangelical seminary at the University of Toronto.

A 2013 article posted by the Anglican Journal, the national newspaper of the Anglican Church of Canada, described MacDonald as a "non-status Indian" with Indigenous ancestry through both his mother and father. The article also says he "grew up among the [Ojibwe] people."

The Anglican Church has named Bishop Sidney Black to serve as its interim national Indigenous bishop.

Remembering St. Anne's students


Canada’s National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation says their records show at least 24 students passed away while attending St. Anne’s Indian Residential School throughout its 70 years in operation.

In memory of former St. Anne’s students:

- Abraham Moses Nakogee
- Alexandra Chookomoolin
- Anna Aitel
- Antoine Wisk
- Charles Hunter (Fort Albany)
- Emile Anishinape
- Emilien Aitel
- Gabriel Carpenter
- Imelda Edwards
- Jennie Kostachin
- John Kioki
- Joseph Metat
- Josephine Chookomoolin
- Madeline Sutherland
- Margaret Sutherland
- Matheiu Kamascatishishit
- Michael Sutherland
- Michel Matinas
- Raphael Katakwapit
- Raphael Tomykatie
- Sabeth Sutherland
- Sabeth Wabano
- Simeon Ashnipinishkam
- Therese Okitigo

Additional photos of the school throughout its history can be found through Algoma University HERE.

In 1992, Former Chief of Fort Albany First Nation, Edmund Metatawabin, presented evidence to Ontario’s provincial police about abuse at the former school, prompting a six-year investigation.

The OPP’s work led to seven former St. Anne’s teachers and administrators being arrested in 1998, with 156 survivors receiving some form of compensation by 2004 – two years before the historic Indian Residential Schools Settlement of 2006.

Documents from the investigation were released in 2014 after an Ontario Superior Court judge ordered the federal government to disclose them to survivors and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

But by that time, the federal government had already redacted over 12,000 documents from the record – which denied many survivors any amount of compensation.

Still, the documents that were released by Ottawa revealed the use of a homemade electric chair being used between the 1950s and 1960s, with a variety of reports of disturbing physical and sexual abuse such as beatings, rancid food, disappearances and much more.

“Innocent children were malnourished, physically assaulted, sexually abused, and tortured. They went to bed hungry and lived in fear of a homemade electric chair. Some were forced to eat their own vomit,” said NAN leadership, as they described St. Anne survivors’ experiences. 

NAN’s search at notorious residential school continues #TRC

 

NAN’s search at notorious residential school continues

Written by Ryan Forbes Wednesday, Apr 20 2022, 4:55 AM
Students at St. Anne’s Indian Residential School in Fort Albany First Nation. Photo courtesy of Algoma University.

If you are a residential school survivor, you are able to contact the 24-hour National Crisis Line at 1-866-925-4419 for support. Indigenous people can also access the Hope for Wellness Help Line at 1-855-242-3310 or online chat at www.hopeforwellness.ca.


The provincial governent is committing nearly $500,000 to support community members in the Nishnawbe Aski Nation area with the region’s search of one of the most notorious Indian Residential School locations in Canada.

Ontario and Ottawa have committed $475,000 over two years to support survivors affected by the six former Indian Residential Schools in the NAN territory, including those of St. Anne’s Indian Residential School in Fort Albany First Nation.

Records from the federal government show students at St. Anne’s were subjected to a homemade electric chair, with survivors describing physical, mental and sexual abuse. Legal battles over compensation for survivors continue to this day.

“This funding will help us develop healing initiatives to support our families and communities through community-driven initiatives as they search for their loved ones,” said NAN’s Deputy Grand Chief, Anna Betty Achneepineskum.


“The search for these innocent children will be a painful experience and needs to be done with great care and respect. We look forward to implementing our Reclamation and Healing Strategy and will continue to develop and implement cultural and spiritual mental health supports to support all those who undertake this important work,” she adds.

Achneepineskum adds the strategy will be developed with survivors and will include recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action of 2015. Funding will also support communications and technical supports, as well as public education and awareness initiatives.

St. Anne’s Indian Residential School was run by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate Catholic Church and the Grey Nuns of the Cross in Fort Albany First Nation between 1906 and 1976, with support from the federal government.

Records show that the school was originally located at the Fort Albany Mission on Albany Island in Treaty #9, before relocating to the banks of the Albany River in 1932. The school burned down in 1939 and was later rebuilt.

First Nations youth from Fort Albany, Attawapiskat, Weenusk, Constance Lake, Moose Fort and Fort Severn all attended the school.

 KEEP READING

‘60s Scoop survivor says healing foundation is no help at all | APTN News

 

‘I haven’t heard a word:’ ‘60s Scoop survivor says healing foundation is no help at all 

Some survivors of the ‘60s Scoop say they’re frustrated by the lack of response they’re getting from the organization set up to help them heal.

“I’ve been waiting to hear from the Sixties Scoop (Healing Foundation) to tell me what they have planned,” says survivor Darlene Gilbert of Annapolis Valley First Nation in Nova Scotia.

“I’ve heard nothing.”

The Sixties Scoop Healing Foundation was created with $50 million from the $875-million national class-action settlement that compensated Inuit and First Nations survivors for the loss of their cultural identities.

As children, they were taken from their homes between the 1950s and 1990s to be placed with non-Indigenous foster and adoptive families across Canada and around the world. Métis and non-status Indigenous peoples were excluded from the settlement agreement.

According to the Class Action Scoop Settlement Agreement website, 20,167 people have been approved to receive $25,000 in compensation including Gilbert.

The foundation says on its website its mission is to “accompany Survivors and their descendants along their healing journey by supporting cultural reclamation and reunification, holistic wellness services, advocacy, commemoration, and education initiatives.”

healing foundation
Darlene Gilbert was 10 years old when she was taken from her family. Photo: Angel Moore/APTN.

Gilbert, who was removed from her family when she was 10 years old, was placed in a number of temporary spaces and group homes in Nova Scotia.

She says she contacted the foundation using the phone number listed on its website to access therapy to deal with the traumatic effects of losing her culture and language.

“There’s supposed to be healing money,” she said in an interview. “We need therapy, our families need therapy, our children, our grandchildren may.

“I haven’t heard a word, not a word; so that was just like I felt brushed under the carpet like we all do.”

Katherine Legrange, a ‘60s Scoop survivor and director of the national non-profit support group 60s Scoop Legacy of Canada, feels the foundation isn’t working so far.

“I’d say that the communication with survivors has been really poor to date, it’s really unclear about how the healing foundation intends to directly help survivors,” she says from Winnipeg.

“I feel like they are really struggling to connect with survivors and share what their plans are; even if there are no plans, share that.”

Call for a national inquiry

Legrange has called for a national inquiry to examine the ‘60s Scoop and “make that connection with residential schools, with MMIWG (missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls), with the justice system, because we know that lots of us ended up in these kinds of unfortunate situations.”

The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, a research and archive centre established after the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, “is in full support of the 60’s Scoop Legacy of Canada and their call for the federal government to commission a national inquiry into Indigenous child removal.

“The Residential School system came first, followed by the Scoop,” the centre says.

“Finding this truth means hearing from those affected directly – nationally and internationally – to hear from all the children, the families and the individuals that ran those systems to fully understand the colonial historical record of the Scoop and what really happened.”

APTN News tried reaching the foundation using the phone number and email on its website and didn’t receive a response.

APTN also requested an interview with the foundation’s inaugural CEO, Dr. Jacqueline Maurice of Saskatchewan.

Maurice, a Métis-Indigenous Scoop survivor with a Ph.D. in social work and a medical degree, was appointed in September 2021.

Her vision for the foundation, described in a statement following her appointment, includes the concept of one survivor helping another survivor on the path to healing.

“In this new role, [Maurice] will be responsible for the development and implementation of programs and services to support survivors and will play an integral part in the development of grants, services and supports to survivors,” the statement added.

A few months later, the foundation distributed its first round of grants – valued at just over $1 million – to eight community groups.

“This year’s pilot program begins the foundation’s legacy of investment into healing and serving Sixties Scoop survivors across the nation,” Maurice said at the time.

“The initial grant process will inform the design of future funding streams that will deliver valuable services to those who need them most.”

But Gilbert is still in the dark about what’s available to her and whether it’s in Nova Scotia.

She feels a national inquiry would help.

“We should be able to tell the government how they tried to colonize us, break us, take our language, keep us away from our communities,” she says.

“This is important for this generation – the ‘60s Scoop – to be able to say, ‘Hey, we need this healing in order to break what has come behind us and [so] it doesn’t come [back] in the future.”

With files from Kathleen Martens

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Warning Signs that Someone Has Experienced Sexual Violence


From the StrongHearts Native Helpline

Sexual violence is a far too common thing throughout Native communities. According to the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, Native Americans are 2.5 times more likely to experience sexual violence in their lifetime. As we know, this may be even higher due to the lack of reporting common in Native communities. Sexual violence is any type of sexual activity done without consent. We often don't know when someone is struggling with something. Sexual violence is no exception.

If you believe someone you know and love has experienced sexual violence, here are some warning signs:

Pulling out of their favorite activities or hobbies

            Your relative may be showing little or no interest in their favorite activities.

Small signs of loss of trust

            Your relative might stop trusting you or your family members with small or large things. 

Isolation

You may notice that your loved one is absent or turning down more invitations. They may have secluded themselves in their homes or workplaces or finding reasons to spend more time alone or with very few people.

Signs of depression or energy fatigue

Your relative may be starting to show signs of depression. This can include changes in appetite and weight, conversations that include hopelessness or lack of outlook on life, and either uncontrollable emotions or numbing of emotions.

Loss of interest in conversations or seeming spaced out

Your relative might be experiencing zone out or feelings of disconnection while in the middle of a conversation. This could look like slow responses to questions, looks of lost in thoughts or slower speech when talking.

Seeming to be uncomfortable when talking about sex or topics related to sex

This can be a little hard to detect if you don't already know how comfortable someone is with talking about the topic of sex. But if you see a dramatic change in the comfortability of one's expression and opinions of sex this could be a sign of sexual violence. 

If your partner has a change in interest in sex or being touched

If you are concerned that your partner may have experienced sexual violence, one warning sign may be that they no longer show interest in sex and pull away when you try to approach or touch them. The main component here is that they seem to have lost trust or interest in sexual touch, but not necessarily in your relationship. 

While not every sexual assault or rape leaves physical injuries, here are a few to look out for:

      Bruising

      Vaginal or anal bleeding

      Broken or dislocated bones

      Difficulty walking

It can be difficult to talk with someone who has experienced something as traumatic as sexual violence. But as a relative, your support can mean a lot to a victim-survivor. StrongHearts Native Helpline is here to chat about ways that you can support a relative experiencing the effects of sexual violence. 

Call or text 1-844-7NATIVE or chat here on strongheartshelpline.org, advocates are available 24/7 for free, safe and confidential support. If you would like more information about how you can help someone in an unhealthy or abusive relationship visit our Help a Friend or Relative page.

Your body. Your sovereignty. Your decision.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Pope Francis to make 3 Canadian stops in July to meet residential school survivors, sources say

Pope Francis is expected to visit at least three cities during a late July trip to Canada, CBC News has learned.

Sources involved in the planning of the trip say the Pope will likely make stops in Edmonton, Quebec City and Iqaluit during what is scheduled to be about a four-day trip to the country. CBC News is not identifying the confidential sources because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

The pontiff initially announced plans for the visit during his Vatican meetings on April 1 with Indigenous delegates from Canada, where he offered an initial apology for the actions of individual Roman Catholic Church members in Canada's residential schools.

KEEP READING 

Assembly of First Nations Regional Chief Gerald Antoine, centre left, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami president Natan Obed and Métis National Council president Cassidy Caron walk in St. Peter's Square after a final audience with Pope Francis on April 1. (Yara Nardi/Reuters)

 


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?

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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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