Monthly Archives: October 2011

Steps to Writing Your own Book!

Many 60’s and 70’s Scoop always ask me about this very topic. Listen tonight

Fri, Oct 14, 2011 at 09:00 PM

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The Steps To Writing Your Own Book

by Fire Talk Production

10/14/11 9:00PM Add reminder


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Two Strong ladies come together to tell you what is involved in writing a book and what to expect once it is published.

Messages From My Hands By Mary Beth Egeling

There are forces working within and through our bodies that cannot be seen but unquestionably do exist. The distraction, confusion, and disharmony that define much of our existence over-shadows these subtle intrinsic powers. If we learn to pay attention, we can hear them.

Love-abouts by Mary Beth Egeling

Author Mary Beth Egeling gives, from her family to yours, Love-abouts, a simple and dependable tool for enriching lives and strengthening relationships. You know, one thing I love about you is…


Annie O’Sullivan Author of Can You Hear Me Now? And Can You Hear Me Now Part Two?

This unique memoir is the shocking tale of an abused child.  Ms. O’Sullivan brings the reader on an intimate life journey through the eyes of this child’s confusion,

Mary Beth Egeling,
Annie OSullivan,

The Lost Generation

Excerpts from :

The Lost Generation First Nations Communities &  White Middle-Class Adoption by

Debra Henry & Liz Lévesque

The Sixties Scoop-Province of Manitoba


In March of 1982, a Manitoba family court judge named Edwin Kimelman  held hearings across Manitoba about the phenomenon of white adoption of Native children from the province. After the hearings concluded, Judge Kimelman made this statement:

“When the Indian residential schools were operating, children were

forcibly removed from their homes for the duration of the

academic year. The children were punished if they used their own

language, sang their own songs or told their own stories. But  at

least under that system the children knew who their parents were

and they returned home for the summer months. With the closing

of the residential schools, rather than providing the resources on

reserves to build economic security and providing services to

support responsible parenting, society found  it easier and cheaper

to remove the children from their homes and apparently fill the

market demand for children in Eastern Canada and the U.S”11

Kimelman agreed with Native leaders in Manitoba that  aboriginal children were the victims of a policy of “wholesale exportation” to other provinces and the U.S. Judge Kimelman reviewed ninety-three cases of adoption and found that no attempt had been made to find Native homes for these aboriginal children. Over a period of twenty years (mid-1960s to early 80s), Manitoba lost about three thousand Native children to white adoption.

The Canadian Council on Social Development in the 1980s concluded that the staff of child welfare agencies tended to be white middle-class people who assumed that low-income Native parents could only provide a less than adequate home for their children. Basically, in the eyes of the child welfare system, the sin of the Native home was poverty.

Stories of Repatriation


Lisa’s Story

Lisa is the daughter of a Métis family that lives in the town of Camperville in northwestern Manitoba. She was born in the town of Winnipegosis and lived with her Métis parents until she was three and a half. She was removed from their home because they were heavy drinkers. No attempt was made to place her with other Métis relatives or within that same Métis community. Instead she was adopted out to a white middle-class couple in Montreal. Her adopted father started to sexually abuse her at the age of eleven. That same year the family moved with Lisa to the U.S. She was removed from the house and put into a series of foster homes after the abuse was reported. By the time she was fifteen she was working as a prostitute, had suffered every kind of STD imaginable, had an alcohol problem and a series of psychological and emotional problems for which she was under a doctor’s care. She was reunited with her family in April of 1985 at the age of sixteen. The reunion with her Métis family was one of “trying to recapture the lost years.” Lisa is still angry at the child welfare officials in Manitoba who “ruined my life and childhood.”*



Cameron’s Story

Cameron was born on the Sioux Valley Indian reserve in southwestern Manitoba. He was removed from his home at the age of eight because his parents were heavy drinkers. At age eleven, the Children’s Aid Society of Western Manitoba sent Cameron to live with a bachelor businessman in Wichita, Kansas (U.S.). Within six months he was running away from this home. A year and a half later the single man adopted Cameron after the Aid Society insisted that there were no local foster homes or adoptive parents. It is unknown whether or how hard the Aid Society looked  for local reserve homes. The adoption was a disaster. Cameron continued to run away from this home. At age thirteen he revealed that this man had been sexually abusing him. He would not testify against his adoptive father in court because this man had threatened him with physical violence. Cameron stayed in this home five more years after he had revealed the sexual abuse. At the age of eighteen he left the home but still remained in the city of Wichita. After he turned nineteen, he went on a drinking binge, broke into the home of his adoptive father and beat him to death with a baseball bat. Ironically, he served a fifteen year sentence for this murder in Stoney Mountain Penitentiary north of Winnipeg. His whereabouts today are unknown, but it is assumed that he has returned to the Sioux Valley reserve to try and pick up the pieces of his life.*

*These stories are found in The Dispossessed  by Geoffrey York.

Lisa and Cameron’s stories are only a few of the thousands of stories that have yet to be written and published. There are many more adopted children out there with similar stories. We cannot say that all of these adoptions turned out the way that Lisa and Cameron’s did. What we can say  is that these stories let the wider North American population know that there are Aboriginal individuals and communities that have been consistently victimized in this way with dehumanizing consequences that include: culture shock, identity crisis, psychiatric problems, prolonged grief, drug and alcohol problems, uncontrollable anger/rage and a myriad of other symptoms resulting from sexual and other kinds of abuse.

Anglo-American Worldview

  • our way is the best way
  • the world and various forces (illness/death) can be controlled by human beings
  • basic problem is ignorance and the solution is more information (education)
  • technology/technique is moving us toward perfection**
  • our faith in human ability to correct and control is virtually boundless
  • history is evolutionary. We are in a steady movement from inferior societies to our own
  • change is better than stability, conquest is better than holding a position, and the new is better than consolidating the old
  • our “superior” way of life will be the ascendant way for others
  • the good of the individual is more important than the good of the group
  • success (material/numerical, etc.) is the goal and failure must be avoided at all costs
  • scientists are our new priests and prophets. Science is our true religion. That means that scientific education is the great hope for our nation and the world12

Native Worldview

  • group has supremacy over the individual; values are learned collectively
  • harmony of individual with the tribe
  • harmony with the tribe and the land

harmony with the land and the Great Spirit (monotheism


Letters of the 60’s and 70’s Scoop

In the past We have written letters about the 60’s and 70’s Scoop that were sent to Oprah. These are just a few that were submitted for posting. I have removed names. Please do not use these in other blogs without permission.

To: Whom it may concern.

I am turning 50 years old this year. And I have come to a point in my life where I need to have my voice heard tell my story. I am one of many Native children from Canada. Who was scooped up in the 60’s, 70’s. Many of us stripped from our parents Separated from each other. I myself had 2 other siblings. My Sister lives back in Canada. My Brother not sure last place was Ohio. Many people like you have not heard about this it was a hush situation. Brought down to the United States and all over the country this is just coming out. We the children are coming out and speaking finding out the truth.

Hello and Greeting from Canada!

I wanted to tell you about my life and the lives of many people that were affected by this. I was taken from my family during a time in Canada that is now known as the “Sixty Scoop” . They say this was part of the Genocide that occurred with the Aboriginal people of Canada. We were taken from our families and adopted to homes across America and to Europe mainly “White” Families, Losing our families and our culture. We have been greatly affected by the lives that we were given. Many of us were physically, mentally and sexually abused and many were also “Slaves”. I was one of those kids. I have been working bringing us together. I have built groups for us to come and share our knowledge and experiences and I try very hard to help those that have asked me. I try to give positive energy! We want to heal and continue with our lives!

I was in the 70’s scoop…

I was shot by my foster parent’s 16 yr old son…he had been drinking…I was 15 at time of shooting…Police were involved, and I was taken to hospital for bullet extraction…After a few days I was in hospital. The Policeman came and took my STATEMENT…after the statement was given. He then went on and say things like “If you decide to press charges, You’ll have to pay for your own way to court, and you’ll have to pay for your own Lawyer.”….I would guess it didn’t take much to convince a drug induced 15 yr old boy, not to charge…After this I was required to stay at the same Foster home, share the same bedroom as my shooter…He was sleeping only feet away from me…I was never to talk about this incident…Later I tried to get info of shooting from RCMP…They just played DUMB…I asked CFS for my records 2006..they did bring records, but not the ones I wanted to see….So, after reviewing their material…I pulled out a copy of Hospital Records…asked CFS where is this in your files?…They just closed their books quickly and almost ran out of room…I have been living with PTSD ever since incident…I didn’t know how to deal with it, until recently…

Logistics of the 60’s and 70’s Scoop

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeoning’s of chance
my head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

       William Ernest Henley

I was born in February 1969 in a small Manitoba village called Duck Bay. I am a Saulteaux/Cree Indian woman.

I lived in Duck Bay with my mother and father until I was apprehended. The year I was apprehended is a mystery because, I remember going to School in Duck Bay but, my adoption papers stated that I was actually apprehended in 1972.

I lived in 6 Foster homes that I can remember but, my documents state that I lived in 4 in Northern Manitoba near Swan River. They were not the best types of home to live in but, that is what the government gave me.

I was adopted to Louisiana in 1977 at the age of 8 years old and left Canada and my home land.

I grew up in the “Deep” South near New Orleans, Louisiana in a small town . Population was 300 and it has not changed.

My parents  were Southern Baptist but, they did not live the Southern Baptist life style but, they did have the Racism that all Southerners have towards the “Blacks and the Native” and They raised me this way. Eventually hating who I was and changing myself and assimilating into what they wanted.

I lived in America and lived the “American” way of life until 2004

In 2004 I was deported for “Impersonating an America Citizen” I was told at this time that my adoption was not legal in the Federal Courts due to the fact that my parents never released me for adoption. I lived in America from 1977 to 2004 and was told I was an American by my adoptive parents.

I returned to Canada in 2004 and was depressed and sad that I had lost my country and I was not ready to live in Canada. I felt like and was told many times as a child that Canada did not want me and returning to this place was too hard for me mentally and emotionally.

After returning to Canada I got my passport and left Canada for Europe. I lived in Europe for a few years drinking my sorrows and doing some serious soul searching. I realized that in my life had been nothing but, a lie and the life I was living in America did not belong to me and it was not the life that God had intended on me having. I decided to return to Canada and find others that this happened to and find the life that I was originally born to have.

I returned to Canada and started looking for who I was and what happened to me at the beginning of my life. In doing this I discovered that there were many children that were apprehended and sent to the United States and that they were all aboriginal like me. I have found many that were adopted to Louisiana close to where I was raised and many that are returning today.

Also, in finding out what happened to me, that my parents paid 30,000 to adopt me and used the Children’s Bureau of New Orleans who used Adoption Resource Exchange of North America (ARENA) which at one time was known as The Indian Adoption Project.

In my documents that I have collected I did receive one document that stated “her weakness are related to her early deprivation and change in culture values and language “. These documents were given to a judge in Manitoba and the Director of Welfare.

I had always wondered why I had been taken but, now I know that it was part of a plan of Eliminating my family and culture.

I do not know anything about being Aboriginal. I do not understand why things are done the way they are but, I have been trying to understand in these past few years. These are things that I have lost during the assimilation process.  I had so much animosity against my birth mother and father but, the same happened to them with the Residential School and I cannot be angry when these things are done to us as Individuals and as a Nation.

I have come to terms with being a Native Woman and seeing myself as one but, for many years I did not. This is also part of Assimilation.

In 2009, along with other we decided to do something about it. We started a lawsuit and it has turned into a National Lawsuit across Canada for those taken during the 60’s Scoop. It is time for us to have a voice and have the right to say what we need to protect our families and our future.

Manitoba / Getting a copy of your CAS file / CFS file

If You were adopted from Canada , you have one!!  This is for Manitoba.  In these pages you will find out how many foster homes you were in and when you a were taken and other things about your childhood that you might want to know.. here is how to get it !!

Meaning of access

76(1) A person who is given access to a record or an excerpted summary of a record under this section has, subject to subsection (19), the right

(a) to examine the record or summary; or

(b) to obtain a copy of the record or summary.

Access with consent of subject

76(2) For purposes of this section, where a person is entitled to be given access to a record by virtue of the consent of another person who is the subject of the record, the agency which has custody or control of the record or the director may

(a) prior to giving access to the person, require a written acknowledgement or other evidence of informed consent from the subject of the record; and

(b) comply with the requirement to give access by giving access directly to the subject of the record rather than the person entitled to access.

Records are confidential

76(3) Subject to this section, a record made under this Act is confidential and no person shall disclose or communicate information from the record in any form to any person except

(a) where giving evidence in court; or

(b) by order of a court; or

(c) to the director or an agency; or

(d) to a person employed, retained or consulted by the director or an agency; or

(d.1) to the children’s advocate; or

(d.2) where the disclosure is by the children’s advocate under section 8.10; or

(e) by the director or an agency to another agency including entities out of the province which perform substantially the same functions as an agency where reasonably required by that agency or entity

(i) to provide service to the person who is the subject of the record, or

(ii) to protect a child; or

(f) to a student placed with the director or an agency by contract or agreement with an educational institution; or

(g) where a disclosure or communication is required for purposes of this Act; or

(h) by the director or an agency for the purpose of providing to the person who is the subject of the record, services under Part 2 of The Vulnerable Persons Living with a Mental Disability Act, or for the purpose of an application for the appointment of a substitute decision maker under Part 4 of that Act.

Right of access

76(4) An adult is entitled to be given access to

(a) his or her own record; and

(b) the record of a child who is in the adult’s legal care.


76(5) Subsection (4) does not apply to

(a) any part of a record which was made prior to the day this section comes into force and which discloses information provided by another person about the subject of the record, unless the other person consents to access being given; and

(b) a record which relates to services provided under Part III;

(c) repealed, S.M. 1997, c. 47, s. 131.

Excerpted summary

76(6) Where the director or an agency refuses to give access to part of a record under clause (5)(a), the director or agency shall, upon the written request of an adult person who would otherwise be entitled to be given access to that part of the record under subsection (4), provide the person with an excerpted summary of the information provided by the other person.

Preparation of summary

76(7) Where an excerpted summary is provided under subsection (6), it shall be prepared by the person who provided the information, if that person is available and willing to do so, but otherwise it shall be prepared as directed by the director or agency.

Restricted access

76(8) The director or an agency may refuse to give a person access to any part of a record referred to in subsection (4) where

(a) there are reasonable grounds to believe that disclosure of that part might result in physical or serious psychological harm to another person; or

(b) that part contains information which was provided by any person not employed by the director or an agency or appointed under this Act; or

(c) that part discloses the identity of a person who is not employed by the director or an agency or appointed under this Act, and who has supplied information in confidence to the director or an agency for any purpose related to the administration or enforcement of this Act or the regulations;

and the director or agency shall notify the person in writing of the reasons for refusing access to that part of the record.

Information filed by person given access

76(9) A person given access to a record under subsection (4) is entitled to submit to the director or agency

(a) a written objection respecting any error or omission of fact which the person alleges is contained in the record; and

(b) a written objection to, or explanation or interpretation of, any opinion which has been expressed by another person about any person referred to in subsection (4) and which is contained in the record.

Information becomes part of record

76(10) As of the date of its submission, any objection, explanation or interpretation submitted under subsection (9) becomes part of the record and shall not be destroyed, altered or removed therefrom.

Correction of factual error

76(11) Where the director or agency is satisfied that a record referred to in subsection (9) contains an error or omission of fact, the director or agency shall cause the record to be corrected.

Voluntary service records

76(12) Where the subject of a record is a person who has applied voluntarily to an agency for services under Part II and the agency has no reasonable grounds to believe that a child of that person, or a child who is under that person’s guardianship or actual care and control, is in need of protection, the agency shall not disclose or communicate the contents of the record to any person outside the agency except

(a) by order of a court; or

(b) in accordance with subsections (4) to (8); or

(c) subject to subsection (15), with the consent of the person who is the subject of the record, but only if the subject is an adult.

Transition to mandatory services

76(13) Where the agency referred to in subsection (12) subsequently believes on reasonable grounds that a child referred to in subsection (12) is in need of protection, the agency shall immediately give notice of that fact to the person who is the subject of the voluntary service record, and all information entered in the record after the date of the notice is subject to subsection (3).

Closed records

76(14) Where a ward, or a child placed under an agreement referred to in section 14, has reached the age of majority and the record of the wardship or placement has been closed, the record shall be sealed in a separate file and stored in a safe depository, and information from the record shall not be disclosed to any person except

(a) by order of a court; or

(b) subject to subsection (8), to the subject of the record, but in the case of a record made before this section comes into force, the information shall be in the form of an excerpted summary; or

(c) subject to subsection (15), with the consent of the person who is the subject of the record; or

(d) in accordance with subsection (16); or

(e) by the director in the course of carrying out searches of the post-adoption registry under The Adoption Act; or

(f) where disclosure is necessary for the safety, health or well-being of a person; or

(g) where disclosure is necessary for the purpose of allowing a person to receive a benefit.

Restricted access by other person

76(15) The right of access conferred by clauses (12)(c) and (14)(c)

(a) does not apply to a record which was made prior to the day this section comes into force; and

(b) is subject to subsection (8), with necessary modifications.

Application to disclose record

76(16) Upon application by the director or an agency, the court may order that all or part of a record referred to in subsection (14) be opened or disclosed where there are reasonable grounds to believe that a child or sibling of the adult who is the subject of the record, or a child who is under that adult’s actual care and control, is likely to suffer physical or serious psychological harm if the record is not opened or disclosed.

Notice to adult

76(17) The director or an agency acting under subsection (16) shall give the adult 7 clear days notice of the hearing of the application unless a judge on application reduces the time of giving notice or dispenses with notice entirely on the grounds that a person mentioned in subsection (16) is in immediate danger.

Access for research purposes

76(18) The director, or an agency with the director’s written consent, may give a person access to all or part of a record for bona fide research or statistical purposes if the director or agency obtains from the person a written undertaking not to disclose the contents of the record or part thereof in any form which could reasonably be expected to identify any other person who is identified in the record, and

(a) the other person consents to the giving of access; or

(b) the director is satisfied that the research or statistical purpose cannot reasonably be achieved unless the record or part thereof is provided in a form which identifies the other person.


76(19) A person who is given access to a record or an excerpted summary of a record under this section shall, prior to examining the record or summary or obtaining a copy thereof, pay to the agency which has custody or control of the record or to the director such fees as may be prescribed by regulation.

Request for review

76(20) A person whose request for access to a record under this section has been refused in whole or in part, or who alleges that all or part of his or her record has been disclosed in contravention of this section or that there has been a failure to comply with subsection (9), may within 30 days of the refusal, or the alleged disclosure or failure to comply, request the director to review the matter and, subject to subsection (21), the decision of the director in the matter is final.

Review from denial of access

76(21) A person who is denied access to all or part of a record by virtue of the director’s decision under subsection (20) may apply for a further review or appeal of the matter in accordance with any law of general application in the province which provides a right of review or appeal to a court, or to any other person or agency outside the government and Crown agencies, on any question of access to records in the custody or under the control of government departments or Crown agencies.

Retention, storage and destruction of records

76(22) Subject to subsection (14), an agency shall retain, store and destroy records made under this Act in accordance with the regulations.

S.M. 1986-87, c. 19, s. 8; S.M. 1987-88, c. 34, s. 12 and 13; S.M. 1989-90, c. 3, s. 13; S.M. 1992, c. 28, s. 7; S.M. 1993, c. 29, s. 172; S.M. 1997, c. 47, s. 131; S.M. 1997, c. 48, s. 26.

The Kimelman Report. Quotes

In the early 1980s, following the notorious Sixties Scoop,[1] in which many children were removed from aboriginal families for adoption by non-aboriginal parents, the Manitoba government established a Review Committee on Indian and Métis Adoptions and Placements. Judge Edwin C. Kimelman chaired the Committee. In 1984, “After reviewing the file of every Native child who had been adopted by an out-of-province family in 1981, Judge Kimelman stated: ‘having now completed the review of the files… the Chairman now states unequivocally that cultural genocide has been taking place in a systematic, routine manner’.”[2]

1984 File Review Report of the committee in 1981 over 53% of the children placed outside of the Province of Manitoba were sent to the United States and over 86% of the children placed in care of adopted families and foster homes outside of Manitoba  were aboriginal ancestry.

File Review page 51

In  No Quiet Place, Kimelman J. describes the Province of Manitoba’s approach to aboriginal child welfare as being a continuation of policies, approach, and attitudes of Indian residential school era stating: “ with the closing of the residential schools, rather than providing the resources on reserves to build ecomonic security and providing the services to support responsible parenting, society found it easier and cheap to remove the children from their homes and apparently fill the market demand for children in Eastern Canada and the United States” (No Quiet Place, page 330)

Chief Judge Edwin C. Kimelman of the Provincial Court, Family Division, to head an inquiry into the child welfare system and how it affected Aboriginal people. In his final report, No Quiet Place, Chief Judge Kimelman concluded that the Aboriginal leaders were right; the child welfare system was guilty of “cultural genocide.

Chief Judge Kimelman advocated a drastic overhaul of the child welfare system in Manitoba. Some of his recommendations included:

• That Aboriginal child and family services agencies be notified whenever an Aboriginal child came into care.

• That policies and standards be implemented that would improve repatriation of Aboriginal children to their own communities and reunify Aboriginal children with their own families.

• That more, and more appropriate, resources be devoted to allow for placement homes in Aboriginal communities.

• That greater support be given to Aboriginal agencies to help them provide services to their off-reserve populations.

• That greater use be made of the extended family.

• That adoption in a non-Aboriginal home be used only as a last resort.

• That cultural awareness training be provided to all those working in Aboriginal communities or with Aboriginal people.

• That there be a more vigorous and stringent court review of cases involving Aboriginal children in care.

• That a program of “affirmative action” hiring be instituted

The 60’s Scoop – “Do you know what the 60 scoop means? “

The 60’s scoop

Karyn Russell  May 17th 2011

If one were to walk down any street of Canada and ask them if they knew about an important Canadian historical fact “Do you know what the 60 scoop means? “ The answer would be a resounding “No” that is unless you are First Nations

The 60 scoop era is a very important part of Canada’s unknown and often hidden history that started right after the Residential School era, some say it started even sooner than the 60’s and many say the statistics given about the number of children is far higher than records have ever shown- if there is ever to be true reconciliation and healing there first has to be an acknowledge of a government policy in which children were removed from their homes and communities without warning or consent.

These children were then adopted out or placed into foster care within non-native homes throughout Canada, the United States and even sent as far out as Europe- far from their culture, their spirituality, their traditions, their homelands… even those who grew up just miles away from their place of birth it was like they were in another world- everything they once were was wiped away and replaced with new foreign identities which ultimately lead to a loss of self-identity and a sense of isolation.

Many of us were never taught by our adoptive families, nor by the history classes in our schools that our Aboriginal people have a rich, beautiful and spiritual culture steeped with a deep powerful connection to this land and the creator; instead we were taught all the typical stereotypes and in essence to be prejudice and ashamed against ourselves that is if we ever were told the truth about our heritage…. Many of us were given information that was misleading or simply not true maybe it was an effort to keep us from finding our way home- we may never know the truth on that matter. I often advise people in their search to find the truth out themselves rather than to rely on information given to them in their childhood.

If we just let go for one minute even the concept of race, religion and just think about the human bond between a parent and a child- if we can just think about is what if it were you- what if one day the government came into your home and took your children away- how would you feel, what would you do and how would you survive something so devastating; it is not something any parent, nor child should ever endure yet ours did and yet it is something that is marginalized, ignored and denied.

What the government forgot is you cannot wipe away the color of our skin, nor the beat of our hearts and our spirits will always call us home… and you cannot kill the Indian within.

We are no longer those children lost and confused, beaten and silenced… we are adults who each have our sorrows and childhood grief’s to overcome- we are all stronger than anyone knew that we could be and one way or another we will find our way home again and we will stand proud of who we are.

It is because of technology each of us have come to understand the truth hidden from us for so long and have learned history our people have endured for centuries. It because of technology we are now able to join forces, to extend that hand of healing and the words of encouragement to everyone on that road back to who they once were- we know that we are not alone!

Pictures Happy Fall !!


The Beginning



Family Life

Todd DeVries, Returned Home and Learned his ways

Barry Red Road Documentary

Happy Fall From Us

ARENA – The Adoption Resource Exchange of North America

Administered by the Child Welfare League of America and funded by a federal contract from the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the U.S. Children’s Bureau, the Indian Adoption Project lasted from 1958 through 1967. During an era when matching dominated adoption practice, it placed 395 Native American children from 16 western states with white families in Illinois, Indiana, New York, Massachusetts, Missouri, and other states in the East and Midwest. (Only 14 children were adopted by Southern families and one child was adopted in Puerto Rico.) Approximately fifty public and private adoption agencies cooperated with the project, but the largest number of children were placed by agencies that were leaders in African-American adoptions and services to children of color: Louise Wise Services and Spence-Chapin Adoption Services (both of New York) and the Children’s Bureau of Delaware.

Becuse tribes are legally considered sovereign nations, the incorporation of Indian children into non-Indian families constituted a kind of international as well as trans-racial adoption, paralleling the adoptions of foreign children from Europe and Asia after 1945. The Indian Adoption Project was perhaps the single most important exception to race-matching, an almost universal policy at the time. It aspired to systematically place an entire child population across lines of nation, culture, and race.

The project’s Director, Arnold Lyslo, and many other child welfare leaders viewed the Indian Adoption Project as an example of enlightened adoption practice, made possible by a decrease in the climate of racial prejudice that had formerly prevented the adoption of Native American children. “One can no longer say that the Indian child is the ‘forgotten child’,” Lyslo proudly declared upon the project’s completion. The Adoption Resource Exchange of North America (ARENA), founded in 1966, was the immediate successor to the Indian Adoption Project. ARENA was the first national adoption resource exchange devoted to finding homes for hard-to-place children. It continued the practice of placing Native American children with white adoptive parents for a number of years in the early 1970s.

A significant outcome study of families who adopted through the Indian Adoption Project was conducted from 1960 to 1968 by David Fanshel, a well-known child welfare researcher. Fanshel studied the motivations of parents and the outcomes for children in approximately one-quarter of all the adoptions arranged through the Indian Adoption Project. In Far from the Reservation, Fanshel concluded that the vast majority of children and families had adjusted extremely well, but he also anticipated criticism. “It may be that Indian leaders would rather see their children share the fate of their fellow Indians than lose them in the white world. It is for the Indian people to decide.”

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Native American activists and their allies challenged the idea that the Indian Adoption Project was a triumph for civil rights and equality. They denounced the project as the most recent in a long line of genocidal policies toward native communities and cultures. Tribal advocates worked hard for the passage of the Indian Child Welfare Act, which reacted against the Indian Adoption Project by making it extremely difficult for Native American children to be adopted by non-native parents. In June 2001, Child Welfare League Executive Director Shay Bilchik legitimated Native concerns, formally apologizing for the Indian Adoption Project at a meeting of the National Indian Child Welfare Association. He put the Child Welfare League of America on record in support of the Indian Child Welfare Act. “No matter how well intentioned and how squarely in the mainstream this was at the time,” he said, “it was wrong; it was hurtful; and it reflected a kind of bias that surfaces

AIM Program -60’s Scoop

AIM Program – 60′s Scoop

Did you know that the Allen Blakeney government appointed people to go onto First Nations reserves to forcebly remove children from their parents, sometimes without the parents knowledge. Just imagine coming home from work and your children are gone!! There is nothing more devastating than finding your children gone, even when you found out where they were, you could not do anything to get them back – if you did chances are you would break the law and chances are you would spend time in jail.

This story among thousands happened all the time to First Nations families, all across the country people still don’t know what happened to their children.

” April 1, 1967 was the inaugural date of the program (AIM -Adopt Indian and Metis children) geared to placing Indian and Metis children for adoption. Undertaken as a two-year pilot project to determine the feasability of such placement. AIM was designed to operate in a specific area of the province (the south-east corner), and to provide publicity and follow-up service to communities, groups and interested parties. “-Saskatchewan Department of Welfare, Annual Report 1967 – 1968

I remember one time during the late spring (May 1972)- my cousin was keeping us -she was 17 years old and my youngest brother Roddy was 4 years old , Bert was 6 and I was 8 years old, it was after school and we were instructed by my parents to go to my uncle’s house as they had to go into town to sell pickets and get groceries. We decided to take a walk to my Grandma’s house just down the road, as we were walking my cousin noticed a bird’s nest in the bushes off the road. My cousin decided to climb the tree and told us to wait by the road – she did’nt want us to get our school clothes dirty. As soon as she climbed the tree , out from nowhere a car pulled up beside us. What I noticed was a large picture on the side of the car with fancy royal script and a picture of a crown, when it stopped a man in a tight brown-grey suit stepped out from the passenger side and asked us what our names were and to get into the back seat, the driver never stepped out but he had on glasses and never smiled. My cousin (Dorothy Starchief) came rushing down the tree yelling for us to run – “Ta-pa-sihk Indian Affairs!!!!”(“Run away Indian Affairs!!!). The guy in the brown-grey suit took one look at my cousin, got in the car and they drove away , all you could see was the dust in the air. When all this excitement was over it was than that my cousin told us that we could have been picked up by the Indian Affairs and taken away. I always think about this and I often think about the guy in the brown-grey suit, because he was a First Nations man.

Once the children were taken away with just the clothes on their backs, they were taken to the social services, the boys had their hair shaved and the girls had bowl cuts – this was to get rid of lice, their clothes were burned and new ones (usually cast offs) were put on them. Than the Social Services would take a picture of the child and placed an ad in the Star-Phoenix Newspaper (Saskatoon, SK) advertising the child’s qualities without mention of the child’s history and race. There were whole families that were apprehended and separated, some adopted out of the province and in some cases out of country. (These ads can be found in the Frances Morrison Library Archives -Newspaper microfiche- 1960 – 1985, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan)(there were brochures that were distributed all over the world about the new AIM Program)

It is sad to understand what feelings the parents suffered during these times , many parents died without knowing about their children and many children died without ever knowing thier families again.

This type of forceble adoption and apprehension deserves the same legal practices, apology and payment as the Residential School System as both were developed through the policies of the Canadian Government and Indian Affairs Branch, which devastated the First Nations people and continues to this very day. The policy was designed in conjunction to the assimiliation strategies of the Canadian Government to get rid of First Nations people and their treaty status.