In the early 1980s, following the notorious Sixties Scoop, 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’.”
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