Learn about the inspiration behind her article and about her research as a Historian of Canadian Indigenous History.
For excellence in Native American History, this article was given the 2016 Arrell M. Gibson Award from the Western Historical Association. Stevenson’s article appeared in the Canadian Journal of History/Annales canadiennes d’histoire, and to celebrate this award-winning research, this article is Open Access until November 4. Read her article here - http://bit.ly/CJH503d.
This article offers a case study of a transracial adoption involving a mixed-heritage child and a legally Indian adoptive couple. The legal adoption of “Frances T” in 1937, considered to be “in the best interests of the child” by social welfare professionals, took on gendered and racialized meaning in the discourse of the Indian Affairs bureaucrats who subsequently attempted to overturn it. The article uses the case to examine Canadian settler-colonial beliefs about blood and belonging. It also explores the complications that emerged as legally defined Indian people came into contact with provincial child welfare legislation. With the goal of eliminating Indigenous legal and kinship forms, the Indian Act colonized adoption so it could be used as a method of assimilation rather than as a traditional form of Indigenous alliance creation and childcare. The case highlights the themes of Indigenous kinship and sovereignty, legislated Indian identity, and the growing involvement of social workers in the lives of Aboriginal people in the mid- to late-twentieth century.
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