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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

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Behind the Mask #60sScoop

 

The Behind The Mask art project has left a lasting impact on those participating on the project, helping them in their mental health journeys. (Katie Green photo)

Unmasking mental health liberates Vernon Indigenous woman

Taking a deeper look at controversial Behind the Mask mural project

As a victim of the ’60s Scoop Freesia has worn many masks throughout her life.

Identity theft, sexual abuse, drug addiction, sex worker.

Now sober and living her best life, the Vernon Indigenous woman has been liberated through a recent art project she was fortunate to take part in.

The 50-year-old Cree native is one of 11 people Behind The Mask – an art installation focused on mental health.

“I felt enlightened by the mask, trying to be a better person where I fit in society as somebody who is healing,” Freesia said. “It was like putting on my new mask. The mask is my higher self.

“It’s nice to know all those other masks, survival tactics, are off.”

Tired of hiding behind unhealthy masks, Freesia said the project helped her express herself.

“It represents forgiveness of those who hurt me, including me.”

And she enjoyed being able to create with others, including Sarah Lillemo, harm reduction coordinator at the Cammy LaFleur Street Clinic.

“I feel like you really connected with the project,” Lillemo told Freesia, who has been sober since Sept 27, 2020.

Lillemo gathered the participants for the art project, led by Calgary artist Katie Green. She too was able to make a mask and have her photograph taken wearing it.

Unfortunately, not everyone is as excited about the project as the participants. The approved installation of these photographs blown up on the sides of buildings has stirred deep feelings among many area residents, calling the art ‘scary.’

“There’s nothing scary about it,” said Freesia.

The public backlash has hurt the participants and those involved. Freesia even thought that perhaps it was racially motivated due to her status.

Lillemo says those who aren’t comfortable with the art, “feel more comfortable hiding behind their keyboard and saying hateful things.”

There are others who are in full support of the project, and in the end, the goal of the art to spark a conversation around mental health has been reached.

The 60s Scoop refers to the large-scale removal of Indigenous children from their homes, communities and families and their subsequent adoption into predominantly non-Indigenous, middle-class families across the United States and Canada. This experience left many adoptees with a lost sense of cultural identity.

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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?

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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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