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Sunday, September 10, 2023

Little Bird

 

(courtesy photo)

American public broadcaster PBS has announced the premiere of Canadian drama Little Bird, which follows the life of a First Nation woman who was forcefully removed from her family as a child during Canada’s Sixties Scoop.

The six-part, one-hour limited series, created by Canadian First Nations filmmaker Jennifer Podemski and playwright Hannah Moscovitch, stars Darla Contois and Lisa Edelstein and follows the life of Bezhig Little Bird, a victim of the Sixties Scoop in Saskatchewan during which indigenous children were taken from their families and adopted by white families.

Removed from her home in Long Pine Reservation, Bezhig Little Bird is adopted into a Montreal Jewish family at age five.  Now in her 20s, Bezhig longs for the family she lost and is willing to sacrifice everything to find them.  Her search lands her in the Canadian Prairies.  As she begins to track down her siblings, she unravels the mystery behind her adoption and discovers that her apprehension is connected to a racist government policy.

“It is a powerful narrative that not only engages and pulls on your heartstrings but also educates on a profoundly disturbing time in North American history that is rarely portrayed,” Germaine Sweet, Managing Director, Content Acquisitions at PBS Distribution, said in a press release.. “In addition to the creative brilliance of Jennifer Podemski and Hannah Moscovitch, this series was delivered by a wealth of Indigenous talent both in front of and behind the camera.”

The character-driven drama features Indigenous actors, including Ellyn Jade, Osawa Muskwaa, and Joshua Odjick. Rounding out the cast is award-winning actress Lisa Edelstein, playing Esther’s adoptive mother, Golda Rosenblum.

PBS will also broadcast Coming Home, which is a 90-minute companion documentary directed by Erica Daniels, which explores the connections between the movement for Indigenous narrative sovereignty and the impact of the child welfare system.

Little Bird and Coming Home will be available for streaming on October 12, 9:00 E.T., on all station-branded PBS platforms, including PBS.org and the PBS app, and on Apple T.V., Android T.V., Amazon Fire T.V., Samsung Smart T.V., Chromecast, and VIZIO.


 

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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.

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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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