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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/ .
THANK YOU MEGWETCH for reading
Girls make up only a small fraction of the incarcerated
juvenile population, but girls often land in detention because they have
experienced some form of trauma: abusive families, bad experiences in
the foster care system, and especially sexual abuse. Policy experts even
use the term "sexual abuse to prison pipeline," and they say it’s why
incarcerating a young girl perpetuates more negative behavior and makes
it harder to exit the system.
Desiree is a young woman who has bounced between foster care,
detention centers, and residential treatment centers since she was
10. Even though she has been the repeated victim of abuse, she says
she's been made to feel like she's the problem...and she's angry about
it. But she has her own ideas about how to make things better and she’s
making her voice heard.
Caught: The Lives of Juvenile Justice is supported, in part, by the Anne Levy Fund, Margaret Neubart Foundation, the John and Gwen Smart Family Foundation, and the Economic Hardship Reporting Project.
Birth of a Family the fifth and final movie screened during the Wide Awake series
A film sharing the story of three sisters and a brother trying
to rebuild their family after it was torn apart during the Sixties
Scoop was shown at the University of Windsor Thursday night. Birth of a Family
was the fifth and final movie screened during the Wide Awake series put
on by the university's Aboriginal Education Centre in partnership with
the Arts Council Windsor and Region.
It follows the journey of Betty Ann, Esther, Rosalie and Ben, who
were adopted as infants into different families across North America and
are just meeting again for the first time.
"I think that the policies in place were very systematic in how they
were targeting First Nations people," said Kathryn Pasquach, the
Aboriginal Outreach and Retention Coordinator for the university. "It
was very unfortunate that the cultural importance and the belief system
that Indigenous people hold were not valued."
Anthony Saracino is a university student who felt it was his duty to see the film
"I think just being a citizen of Canada — a citizen of the world —
it's important to know the ground you walk on and I'm just doing my due
diligence with that," he said.
Ostoro Petathegoose is an Indigenous woman who attended all of the screenings.
"I grew up with a lot of anti-Indigenous racism in my life and I have
found when talking to a lot of people they are not educated on the
history of Indigenous peoples in this country," she explained. "So I
feel that movies like this are really relevant and people should be
seeing movies like this."
The education centre hopes to run a similar series of films next year.
We also have the Canada and American governments conducting the ARENA programs- transporting First Nations and American Indian children for adoptions cross borders. Were you adopted into the US from Canada? Do you know?
1966The National Adoption Resource
Exchange, later renamed the Adoption Resource Exchange of North America
(ARENA), was established as an outgrowth of the Indian
It was a devastating day in April 1973 when Lillian Semaganis, a young Cree mother whose six children had all been taken by Saskatchewan social services, opened the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix newspaper to see two of her own daughters advertised for adoption.https://t.co/IXrk5WxEz1
As I wrote "What do you call this" on this blog: THIS is genocide. Taking children and selling them in a catalog? Taking children so they would disappear? Taking children so there would be less Indians to deal with, so governments would not have to honor their treaties? All the missing and murdered Indigenous women? The hunting of these women and their deaths by serial killers or maybe the police?
Think about it. Protect yourself.
Yes, adoption as human trafficking is what happened. Trace
Siblings separated in Sixties Scoop had been searching for sister for decades when they turned to CBC for help
A patchwork of information suggested Cleo Semaganis Nicotine had been killed decades ago while trying to make her way back to Saskatchewan from her adoptive family in the U.S., but no one knew for sure what happened until CBC News began looking into the case.
Episodes 6, 7, and 8 done. This podcast is just getting better and better. Such incredible (and heartbreaking) storytelling / reporting by @connie_walker and an absolute must listen for all Canadians. Can’t wait for the rest of the episodes. #FindingCleohttps://t.co/1LQ4415YCO
Any move to have Aboriginal children adopted by non-Indigenous
families would be a backward step, according to Australia’s peak body
representing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.
SNAICC (National Voice for Our Children) chairwoman Sharron Williams,
a Narungga-Kaurna woman based in Adelaide, said all children needed to
be safe and cared for but Aboriginal children shouldn’t be separated
from their kin and culture.
Ms Williams’ comments came as federal Children’s Minister David
Gillespie said permanent adoptions should play a role in finding new
homes for abused or neglected Aboriginal children, including adoptions
with non-Indigenous families.
Mr Gillespie has described the situation as a child protection “crisis”.
Ms Williams told NIT this week that before upping adoptions,
more work needed to be put into helping parents, families and
communities care for their children.
“We don’t believe Aboriginal children should lose connection to culture through adoption,” Ms Williams said.
“We know from our history that (approach) has created some enormous
problems with our children losing connection to their country, their
culture and in many instances their community.”
Asked if she thought non-Indigenous families should be able to adopt
Indigenous children, Ms Williams said: “I don’t think they should.”
She said in most states and territories adoption was not an option, but permanent and stability placement was.
“In most states, non-Aboriginal people can become foster carers of
Aboriginal children and that happens and in those instances cultural
connect plans and stability plans are developed for individual children
in care,” she said.
“But adoption is one of those areas where it doesn’t happen.
“I know there is work happening in New South Wales where there is a push to go down the road of adoption.
“I’m unsure how far that’s got, but in South Australia that isn’t something that is on the drawing board.”
Need to look at underlying poverty
Ms Williams said more resources needed to be put into addressing the
poverty in Aboriginal families, the lack of employment, difficulties
with housing, access to early childhood services and health programs.
“I think if they were better addressed for our communities, we would
have a far greater response to better parenting (and) building stronger
and more resilient communities, therefore less children would be
Northern Territory Stolen Generations Aboriginal Corporation head
Eileen Cummings said a bridging program was needed to help keep children
who were removed from their homes for their own safety connected with
their families, communities and culture and to also help the communities
grieving the loss of the children.
“We don’t want the children at risk to be left in their home
environment unless there is a safety net there somewhere,” she said.
“But what we want is programs for the parents and the community as well.
“A lot of them are upset because the children are being removed, but you can’t leave them if they are not safe.”
Ms Cummings said when her corporation worked with women who were
being subjected to domestic violence, one of the shelters ran an
outreach program so that women could work to revisit their families and
reconnect with their children.
“I thought that was a good way of reconnecting the parents back with
the children because I don’t want our children to lose their identity as
young Aboriginal people,” she said.
Children need better home environments
The National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples said in a
statement vulnerable children should be removed, but they needed to be
going to a better place.
“We are troubled by the knowledge from past Royal Commissions of the
dangers of neglect and abuse perpetrated within institutions and of the
failures of many out-of-home-care alternatives,” it said.
“We desperately need to know where we are removing our children to.
“Their new environment must allow them to thrive.
“Countless Aboriginal children who have missed out on care and
support have already been ‘removed’ – they are currently in juvenile
detention centres and jails.
“These are the children failed by support ‘programs’, failed by
distant policy-makers, failed by families in over-crowded houses and
failed by communities where local control and self-determination have
Eleanore Sunchild, a Cree lawyer who specializes in Aboriginal law
and has represented Sixties Scoop adoptees, says, "a lot of times, they
were so young they don't remember their family, they don't know what
community they come from or even what tribe they belong to."
Sunchild says that loss of Indigenous identity coupled with separation from family is often devastating.
"The whole loss of being raised in a different home and not exactly
knowing why, why they were removed — there's something wrong with them?
Or was there something wrong with their family? And in a lot of
instances it was just because of the policy that was in place at the
time," she said. Kicknosway says some people don't necessarily want to return to their communities. She says they "only want to know they belong somewhere" and "have
validation that they were alive" and that maybe someone missed them when
they were taken away.
Author and Sixties Scoop survivor Raven Sinclair, an associate
professor of social work at the University of Regina, has written
extensively on the subject. She is in the midst of a five-year study
with the aim of creating a national database of adoptees.
Her goal is to create a network that can provide practical, long-term
support similar to what is available to some of the people affected by
the residential school system.
Cree lawyer Eleanore Sunchild, who represents
survivors of the Sixties Scoop, says it's hard for adoptees to track
down their biological families because many of them were so young when
they were taken that they don't remember any details about their
relatives or their community. (Connie Walker/CBC News)
"An adoptee you know here in town could call up a therapist
who's been approved by us ... and get some help," she said. "For some,
it's been a lifetime of abuse, so it's going to take a long time for
them to recover."
NISCW has set up a toll-free number to help adoptees searching for family connections and to provide peer support.
The Indian Adoption Project (IAP), which resulted in the out-of-home placement of many Native American children, lasted from 1958 through 1967. It emerged during the U.S. federal government’s ‘Termination Policy’ that sought to assimilate Native tribes into the larger American fabric “as rapidly as possible.” This meant removal of federal protection of tribes and tribal lands and the transfer of civil and criminal jurisdiction to the states, affecting laws around “social services, child welfare, probate, those kinds of civil matters,” Melissa says.
telling me this thing I’ve lived all these years has a history and that
history includes some policy and that policy has been unknown to me?
I’m a second year PhD student. To be at that level of study and for that
to just be known, it still floors me.” Source: Meet Melissa Olson | Pollen - Pollen
Documentary Stolen Childhoods, an audio documentary written by Melissa Olson, Ryan Katz, and Todd Melby aired during the Listening Lounge and Truth to Tell. You can listen to the podcast below. To support the project, visit their GiveMN page.
This week, High Country News published a story by reporter Allison Herrera detailing a conservative think tank’s efforts to dismantle the Indian Child Welfare Act,
an adoption law that turns 40 this year. The 1978 act was created to
prevent the separation of Native children from their families and
communities through adoptions, to “protect the best interests of Indian
children and to promote the stability and security of Indian tribes and
Groups like the Goldwater Institute that push for the elimination of
ICWA are, intentionally or not, contributing to the continued attack on
Such groups have attempted to capitalize on misinformation and stereotypes
as a way to undermine ICWA. But ignoring the rights of tribes as both
governments and as peoples to protect their culture not only ignores
sovereignty, an all-too-common practice these days, it also overlooks,
quite callously, generations of historical trauma.
Note from Trace Hentz
I am so grateful to Graham for writing this article and interviewing me and others on the topic of ICWA and keeping adoptees in the news. When I spoke to him, it hit me that I wrote the article for Indian Country Today in 2013 and very little has changed. other than Goldwater trying to end the important much-needed federal law Indian Child Welfare Act.
In Indian country, opiates and heroin are called dark spirits.
“...When you are in the throes of opiate addiction, it now owns your soul,” he added. “Pharmaceuticals was the gateway to addiction for our elders, and now some are experiencing addiction at 60, 70, 80 years old who had led a clean and traditional life but were prescribed without being told they were going to have a dependency problem.”
Meanwhile, the rate of drug-related out-of-home child placements in general in Minnesota has skyrocketed.
Of the 7,595 children placed into out-of-home care in Minnesota in 2016, parental drug abuse was cited as the primary reason in nearly 28 percent of cases. Of those 1,478 children covered under the Indian Child Welfare Act, 588, or about 40 percent, were removed for the primary reason of parental drug abuse, according to Department of Human Services data. Nearly 90 percent of ICWA children, regardless of the reasons for removal, were placed with a relative while in out-of-home care.
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.
Almost 7000 bodies found and not one member of the church has been arrested. The names are out there. The church must be held accountable. #NeverForget#EveryChildMatters
The Justice Department is protecting the names of many perpetrators of abuse of Indigenous children. We need a special independent prosecutor who can force the government and church to turn over the documents. There can be no reconciliation without justice.@MumilaaqQaqqaqpic.twitter.com/5TL6OxKM5O
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?
New York’s 40-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.
According to the 2020 Census, 3.6% of Colorado's population is American Indian or Alaska Native, at least in part, with the descendants of at least 200 tribal nations living in the Denver metro area.
Diane Tells His Name
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.