Indigenous children removed from homes in the 1960s begin to heal

November 3, 2015 Comments Off on Indigenous children removed from homes in the 1960s begin to heal

Indigenous children removed from homes in the 1960s begin to heal

For three decades across Canada, thousands of aboriginal children were taken from their homes and adopted.

by Lauren Pelley Mon Nov 02 2015

KEMPTVILLE ….one by one, the 40 or so attendees of this Indigenous Adoptee Gathering introduce themselves to the group. Some are from Ontario, others from Manitoba or the Yukon. Some are Cree, others Métis or Ojibway.

Most are members of a stolen generation.

Beginning in the mid-1960s — and for several decades after — thousands of indigenous children across Canada were removed from their homes and typically placed with white middle-class families in Canada and abroad.

Patrick Johnston, author of the 1983 report Native Children and the Child Welfare System, dubbed it the Sixties Scoop.

Those children are now adults, sharing their stories of emotional, physical and sexual abuse, mental illness and a sense of isolation from being torn between Euro-Canadian and indigenous culture….

The Sixties Scoop wasn’t a government policy, but rather a noticeable trend once mandatory residential school education was phased out in the 1950s and 1960s….

Child welfare services were expanded to indigenous communities across Canada through the late 1960s, which “left a profound and negative impact on these communities,” notes the report.

“There was no publicity for years and years about the brutalization of our families and children by the larger Canadian society,” one member of the indigenous community told the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry launched in 1988 by Manitoba’s provincial government.

“Kidnapping was called placement in foster homes. Exporting aboriginal children to the U.S. was called preparing Indian children for the future. Parents who were heartbroken by the destruction of their families were written off as incompetent people.”

Manitoba’s government established a review committee on “Indian and Métis Adoptions and Placements” in the 1980s, headed by Associate Chief Family Court Judge Edwin Kimelman, and imposed a halt on out-of-province placements of indigenous children.

After reviewing the files of every indigenous Manitoban child adopted by an out-of-province family, Kimelman wrote in a 1984 report that “cultural genocide” had been taking place in a “systematic, routine manner.”

While not every placement of an indigenous child in the Canadian adoption system was a result of the Sixties Scoop, the number of children removed and placed into foster care or adoptive families likely numbered in the tens of thousands….

In June, Manitoba became the first province to offer a formal apology to thousands of victims with Premier Greg Selinger promising the topic will be included in the provincial school curriculum. But what should be done throughout the rest of Canada? A few organizations offered their viewpoints of how the federal and provincial governments should be handling the aftermath of the Sixties Scoop….
http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2015/11/02/indigenous-children-removed-from-homes-in-the-1960s-just-now-beginning-to-heal.html

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Child abuse inquiry told of sexual assaults, beatings in Darwin home

September 24, 2014 Comments Off on Child abuse inquiry told of sexual assaults, beatings in Darwin home

Child abuse inquiry told of sexual assaults, beatings in Darwin home

Commission is hearing from members of the stolen generations who say they were abused in the Northern Territory
Helen Davidson theguardian.com, Monday 22 September 2014

Indigenous children were beaten, sexually assaulted, stripped and chained to beds, and forced to eat their own vomit, it has been alleged at the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse on Monday.

The 17th public hearing of the royal commission began hearing from members of the stolen generations who say they were sexually abused at a Darwin home.

It’s examining how the government and administrators responded to the allegations of child sexual abuse by employees at the Retta Dixon home between 1946 and 1980, when it closed.

Retta Dixon was one of the main government-run homes for children of mixed Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal descent forcibly removed from their families. Established by Christian missionaries in the 1930s, it also housed unmarried mothers and their babies, and temporary visitors. At its peak it held 120 people, according to the federal government’s 1997 Bringing Them Home report….

It is the first time the commission has held a hearing in the Northern Territory. It is also the first public hearing to predominantly involve Indigenous people.

A number of Aboriginal women gave evidence at the inquiry into the Parramatta Girls Home and Hay Institute.

Of all the people who have contacted the commission, 827 (18%) are Indigenous, the chief commissioner, Peter McClellan, said as he opened the public hearing on Monday morning.

He added that 9% of people coming to private sessions are from Aboriginal communities.

The inquiry into the Retta Dixon home is expected to run for about two weeks.
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/22/child-abuse-inquiry-told-of-sexual-assaults-beatings-in-darwin-home

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