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Perspectives on Child Welfare: 60's Scoop



News that not only informs, but inspires.
  • Anonymous

    The scoop began well before 1965, i as well as many thousands across Canada and Europe are proof of that.Many were just put on planes to meet their new adoptive families in Europe without their natural parents knowing anything about it.

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  • Anonymous

    Ideology and the Haida Way rnAuthor; Ruth Gladstone-Davies rnOctober 2008rnRevised June 2010rnrnAntoine Louis Claude Destutt de Tracy, a French philosopher originally coined the term ideology, his deductive method in social theory has remained relatively unchallenged and has been very influential at least in North America. However throughout almost two centuries since, we have come to believe that we all fit into thousands of mutually dependent ideas, principles, traditions, gatherings and even folklore that functions as a routine frame of reference that can be challenged. It is definitely a changeable concept. As we grow and learn, we step from one routine idea to another, at times with ease yet for the most we suffer against those of other ideologies. This is typical primarily within Native American, First Nations, Indian, Indigenous, Aboriginal peoples. So many different ideas of who we are, for general essay purpose and in recognition as our rights as First peoples, I will use the term First Nations. I believe there are far too many u2018ideologuesu2019 from the u2018dominateu2019 society telling First Nations people what we should know and think and far too few taking the necessary time to understand our culture, a culture rich in elements that combine and ignite in such a way as to make one feel that they are discovering what an aspect of real life is like. The aspect of Family as it relates to First Nations society is one of a blending of parental and extended family rights that purely captures the essence of community. rnrnAs First Nations people, we are born into a very unique spiritual culture with seemingly diverse yet commonly understood value systems. We are rich in passion, blended in the power and feeling for nature and able to transform with the mystical sides of spirit. We avoid for the most, as a survival mechanism, the extremes of the dominate culture including political parties with adamant ideologues. Being non-politically aligned, we can ourselves exploit all parties for our peopleu2019s advantage while not tying our nation, our survival, our culture to any one specific party. We have learned that if we directly associate with one party, they ultimately lose controlling power; although fundamentally we are under the auspices of the controlling power of the day tied unwillingly through the confines of the Indian Act. rnrnThrough 500 years of virtual genocide, colonial America commonly regarded First Nations as inferior beings forced into abject submission subject to the authority of a male dominant government. By contrast, First Nations women were highly valued and had a far greater equality that was extremely vital to the survival of community, a status remarkably underestimated by congressional circles. An oversight we can forever be thankful for, how else through the hundreds of years of generational abuse, could our cultural value systems have survived. They survived the cultural and economic clash seen most widely through the movement of several generations of children into residential schools and the extension of authoritive and intrusive Provincial services to reserve lands in the 1950u2019s. The generational and intergenerational cycle of abuse, physical, mental, emotional, sexual and spiritual abuse or neglect with all its implications for the health and social wellness of First Nations families has had little affect on the guiding principles of our traditions as we have known them to be for thousands of years. The exception being of course, our ability to sustain the teachings through actual practice; the roles, responsibilities and rights of the extended family were not given the slightest consideration. rnrnBeginning in the 1970u2019s, First Nation leaders increased demands for a return to more local control and greater involvement in the planning of services. By 1987, 20% of the Bands across Canada had been successful in establishing agreements with Federal and Provincial governments, in that same year, the federal government imposed a moratorium on funding new programs. In the beginning of 1990 they announced plans to allow new program development.rnThankfully, in the past couple of decades the Province has made considerable progress in addressing the concerns of the First Nations and recognizing our right to responsible planning and delivery of services to children and families. Volume 3 of Gathering Strength: The Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples contains the following statement: rnu201cAboriginal parents and educators consistently press for holistic programs that address the physical, intellectual, social, emotional and spiritual development of children. This priority should guide the design and operation of all early childhood programs.u201d (p. 451) rnrnIn 1990 the Province released the new Family and Childrenu2019s Services policy manual. For the first time the manual contained a section on Native Child Welfare. The purpose then, to provide direction to field staff in addressing the Provinces commitment to work more closely with Bands, Tribal Councils and First Nations organizations to ensure appropriate planning for u2018Native children and their families.u2019 These policies also reflected u2018special sensitivity to familial, social, spiritual and cultural heritage.u2019 The Provinces overall objective 18 years ago: rnu201cNative people, through their Bands, Tribal Councils, organizations, or from the community, will be involved in the development and be responsible for the delivery of services to their children and families. Ministry services will reflect the unique culture and heritage of Native people.u201d Built into the policy was a clearly defined criterion of what a u201cNative childu201d or u201cNative homeu201d applied to. Agreements with the Spallumcheen Band (1980) and the Nuu-chah-nulth tribal Council (1985) were reflected in this policy direction. rnrnThe recognition has not come without its unfair share of seemingly endless roadblocks. In 1995, Program Directive 20-1 was established and imposed as the guiding document for the transfer of authority. New elections, restructuring of governments, cancellation of restructuring initiatives, then in 1998 the new u201cOperational Readiness Criteriau201d document became the reference manual for the actual transfer of services, developed in a manner that would secure the Provincial involvement for a minimum of 5 years per agreement with strong possibilities of extensions based on Provincial/Federal assessments. Once initiated, the process to actually get to the point of a signed agreement would take the Haida 3+ years. The Haida clearly stated their intent in 1991, sparked by the Provincial review of child protection legislation, the agreement came some 14 years later. rnFor tens of thousands of years, traditional assistance to Haida children and their families was provided by a Haida family culture system identified through the matrilineal structure and was within the extended family model. Children were raised, educated and protected by the adults in their villages. Aunts, uncles, grandparents and natural parents provided a service as part of a large pattern of mutual assistance based on reciprocal obligations within extended families and other traditional kinship relations. For example, the grandparents passed down family history, aunts and uncles provided economic teachings and discipline, mothers and fathers provided emotional security, love and affection, other extended family and community provided the necessary teachings of status, the spiritual and mystical sides, community values and obligations. It was unwritten but well understood that the families adhered to strict ethical standards, there was no exploitation, everyone was treated with dignity and respect, no one was ever expected to complete tasks beyond their capabilities. There was not inappropriate sexual or abusive behavior without serious and immediate consequences. No one stepped beyond their ability or relationship responsibilities, no one was ever harassed, every person worked co-operatively, no person misused
    medicines and absolutely every person was under obligation to protect the children from harm. These are all values parallel to the standards of professional behavior expected from social workers today.rnrnIn 1867 the Constitution Act granted federal parliament legislative authority over Indians.rnrnIn 1876 the first consolidated Indian Act reflected the governmentu2019s preoccupation with, among other things, the ultimate assimilation of Canadau2019s First Nation people.rnDespite numerous changes, the framework has remained fundamentally intact. The deficiencies have been well documented. We continually object to the inherent paternalism and remain vocal about the need for reform.rnrnBoth the Federal and Provincial governments maintain their jurisdictional confusion when it comes to the authority for decision making to address and implement appropriate culturally sensitive health, social and economic services. rnrnFirst Nations communities still suffer the highest rates of health/mental health issues, apprehensions, suicide, addictions, violence, abuse, historical dependency, inadequate housing, poverty, homelessness, exploitation, historical and systemic racism. Evidently, Colonial Americau2019s ideology of the u201cNuclear familyu201d, with its seemingly oppressive traits that are so contrary to the altruist extended family system so common with First Nation societies , has not been successful. The attempts to assimilate, no matter the diligence applied, has had a very negative effect and caused untold amounts of suffering. This of course is evident in the u201ccommon experienceu2019 payments to residential school survivors and through the recent public apology by our government in addition to very serious allegations of neglect and abuse reported by foster children, adults who were u2018in the systemu2019 and by foster parents who have taken in children with very evident disorders as a direct result of being farmed from one home to another. rnrnHere we are some 516 years after contact, from a time of laboring for a use value system, where the corresponding social structure was one of the extended family, with chieftainship, clan members and even nominally slaves to a political class with the ruling party able to pass legislation to reinforce its class, ultimately creating class division, legitimizing that class structure and maintaining control of the largest portion of resources and keeping wealth/power in the hands of a select few. One could argue that in our war societies the ideology was virtually the same, however, the ideologies of our ancestors with their primordial desires upheld social networks of related people where every single individualu2019s identity , rights and responsibilities were very clearly defined and given meaning. Contrary to First Nation values, there is far too much of a tendency to pigeonhole in this political society; this limitation has proven time and time to leave individuals faceless, lost and neglected. First Nations societies continue to maintain that for every single individual, there is an ancient ethical responsibility that our existence with others and with the earth calls forth and in order to maintain that responsibility we must equally celebrate every kinship tie.rn rnIn this crumbling network of production that we call the political society, where our First Nation children are regarded as commodities, where so many First Nations people are engulfed within the networks of ideologies that define the world we increasingly lose our primordial values; we must remember to continually refer back to the mutually dependent ideas, principals, traditions, gatherings and stories of our ancestors. First Nation ideologies function as a routine frame of reference ever reminding us to maintain balance with one another, balance with nature, balance in our body/mind/spirit and balance with all other living things. We will remember that it is our ideologies that kept us strong throughout thousands of years of ever changing life on this planet.rn rnWhere do we go from here? We continue to emphasize that each nation has its own unique culture but share common cultural values and as individual nations maintain our inherent right to self govern. To assist us in this endeavor, while respecting the political climate, it would be advantageous for us to initiate an official North American First Nations political party. We could be very effective but only if we maintained our traditional value systems. The NAFNP must begin by initiating our own u201cDirector of Child & Family services.u201d An branch that works directly with the Federal Government until at least the inconsistencies of the Indian Act are addressed; the provincial agencies primarily responsible for using our children as commodities can then focus more on reviewing or possibly redefining their lack of success in acting in the best interests of all children. I believe that if we start with family values, we can only get stronger; everything else, absolutely everything else will fall into balance. rnAll my relationsrn

  • Anonymous

    RE: CHILD WELFARErnrnIdeology and the Haida Way rnAuthor; Ruth Gladstone-Davies rnOctober 2008rnRevised June 2010rnrnAntoine Louis Claude Destutt de Tracy, a French philosopher originally coined the term ideology, his deductive method in social theory has remained relatively unchallenged and has been very influential at least in North America. However throughout almost two centuries since, we have come to believe that we all fit into thousands of mutually dependent ideas, principles, traditions, gatherings and even folklore that functions as a routine frame of reference that can be challenged. It is definitely a changeable concept. As we grow and learn, we step from one routine idea to another, at times with ease yet for the most we suffer against those of other ideologies. This is typical primarily within Native American, First Nations, Indian, Indigenous, Aboriginal peoples. So many different ideas of who we are, for general essay purpose and in recognition as our rights as First peoples, I will use the term First Nations. I believe there are far too many u2018ideologuesu2019 from the u2018dominateu2019 society telling First Nations people what we should know and think and far too few taking the necessary time to understand our culture, a culture rich in elements that combine and ignite in such a way as to make one feel that they are discovering what an aspect of real life is like. The aspect of Family as it relates to First Nations society is one of a blending of parental and extended family rights that purely captures the essence of community. rnrnAs First Nations people, we are born into a very unique spiritual culture with seemingly diverse yet commonly understood value systems. We are rich in passion, blended in the power and feeling for nature and able to transform with the mystical sides of spirit. We avoid for the most, as a survival mechanism, the extremes of the dominate culture including political parties with adamant ideologues. Being non-politically aligned, we can ourselves exploit all parties for our peopleu2019s advantage while not tying our nation, our survival, our culture to any one specific party. We have learned that if we directly associate with one party, they ultimately lose controlling power; although fundamentally we are under the auspices of the controlling power of the day tied unwillingly through the confines of the Indian Act. rnrnThrough 500 years of virtual genocide, colonial America commonly regarded First Nations as inferior beings forced into abject submission subject to the authority of a male dominant government. By contrast, First Nations women were highly valued and had a far greater equality that was extremely vital to the survival of community, a status remarkably underestimated by congressional circles. An oversight we can forever be thankful for, how else through the hundreds of years of generational abuse, could our cultural value systems have survived. They survived the cultural and economic clash seen most widely through the movement of several generations of children into residential schools and the extension of authoritive and intrusive Provincial services to reserve lands in the 1950u2019s. The generational and intergenerational cycle of abuse, physical, mental, emotional, sexual and spiritual abuse or neglect with all its implications for the health and social wellness of First Nations families has had little affect on the guiding principles of our traditions as we have known them to be for thousands of years. The exception being of course, our ability to sustain the teachings through actual practice; the roles, responsibilities and rights of the extended family were not given the slightest consideration. rnrnBeginning in the 1970u2019s, First Nation leaders increased demands for a return to more local control and greater involvement in the planning of services. By 1987, 20% of the Bands across Canada had been successful in establishing agreements with Federal and Provincial governments, in that same year, the federal government imposed a moratorium on funding new programs. In the beginning of 1990 they announced plans to allow new program development.rnThankfully, in the past couple of decades the Province has made considerable progress in addressing the concerns of the First Nations and recognizing our right to responsible planning and delivery of services to children and families. Volume 3 of Gathering Strength: The Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples contains the following statement: rnu201cAboriginal parents and educators consistently press for holistic programs that address the physical, intellectual, social, emotional and spiritual development of children. This priority should guide the design and operation of all early childhood programs.u201d (p. 451) rnrnIn 1990 the Province released the new Family and Childrenu2019s Services policy manual. For the first time the manual contained a section on Native Child Welfare. The purpose then, to provide direction to field staff in addressing the Provinces commitment to work more closely with Bands, Tribal Councils and First Nations organizations to ensure appropriate planning for u2018Native children and their families.u2019 These policies also reflected u2018special sensitivity to familial, social, spiritual and cultural heritage.u2019 The Provinces overall objective 18 years ago: rnu201cNative people, through their Bands, Tribal Councils, organizations, or from the community, will be involved in the development and be responsible for the delivery of services to their children and families. Ministry services will reflect the unique culture and heritage of Native people.u201d Built into the policy was a clearly defined criterion of what a u201cNative childu201d or u201cNative homeu201d applied to. Agreements with the Spallumcheen Band (1980) and the Nuu-chah-nulth tribal Council (1985) were reflected in this policy direction. rnrnThe recognition has not come without its unfair share of seemingly endless roadblocks. In 1995, Program Directive 20-1 was established and imposed as the guiding document for the transfer of authority. New elections, restructuring of governments, cancellation of restructuring initiatives, then in 1998 the new u201cOperational Readiness Criteriau201d document became the reference manual for the actual transfer of services, developed in a manner that would secure the Provincial involvement for a minimum of 5 years per agreement with strong possibilities of extensions based on Provincial/Federal assessments. Once initiated, the process to actually get to the point of a signed agreement would take the Haida 3+ years. The Haida clearly stated their intent in 1991, sparked by the Provincial review of child protection legislation, the agreement came some 14 years later. rnFor tens of thousands of years, traditional assistance to Haida children and their families was provided by a Haida family culture system identified through the matrilineal structure and was within the extended family model. Children were raised, educated and protected by the adults in their villages. Aunts, uncles, grandparents and natural parents provided a service as part of a large pattern of mutual assistance based on reciprocal obligations within extended families and other traditional kinship relations. For example, the grandparents passed down family history, aunts and uncles provided economic teachings and discipline, mothers and fathers provided emotional security, love and affection, other extended family and community provided the necessary teachings of status, the spiritual and mystical sides, community values and obligations. It was unwritten but well understood that the families adhered to strict ethical standards, there was no exploitation, everyone was treated with dignity and respect, no one was ever expected to complete tasks beyond their capabilities. There was not inappropriate sexual or abusive behavior without serious and immediate consequences. No one stepped beyond their ability or relationship responsibilities, no one was ever harassed, every person worked co-operative
    ly, no person misused medicines and absolutely every person was under obligation to protect the children from harm. These are all values parallel to the standards of professional behavior expected from social workers today.rnrnIn 1867 the Constitution Act granted federal parliament legislative authority over Indians.rnrnIn 1876 the first consolidated Indian Act reflected the governmentu2019s preoccupation with, among other things, the ultimate assimilation of Canadau2019s First Nation people.rnDespite numerous changes, the framework has remained fundamentally intact. The deficiencies have been well documented. We continually object to the inherent paternalism and remain vocal about the need for reform.rnrnBoth the Federal and Provincial governments maintain their jurisdictional confusion when it comes to the authority for decision making to address and implement appropriate culturally sensitive health, social and economic services. rnrnFirst Nations communities still suffer the highest rates of health/mental health issues, apprehensions, suicide, addictions, violence, abuse, historical dependency, inadequate housing, poverty, homelessness, exploitation, historical and systemic racism. Evidently, Colonial Americau2019s ideology of the u201cNuclear familyu201d, with its seemingly oppressive traits that are so contrary to the altruist extended family system so common with First Nation societies , has not been successful. The attempts to assimilate, no matter the diligence applied, has had a very negative effect and caused untold amounts of suffering. This of course is evident in the u201ccommon experienceu2019 payments to residential school survivors and through the recent public apology by our government in addition to very serious allegations of neglect and abuse reported by foster children, adults who were u2018in the systemu2019 and by foster parents who have taken in children with very evident disorders as a direct result of being farmed from one home to another. rnrnHere we are some 516 years after contact, from a time of laboring for a use value system, where the corresponding social structure was one of the extended family, with chieftainship, clan members and even nominally slaves to a political class with the ruling party able to pass legislation to reinforce its class, ultimately creating class division, legitimizing that class structure and maintaining control of the largest portion of resources and keeping wealth/power in the hands of a select few. One could argue that in our war societies the ideology was virtually the same, however, the ideologies of our ancestors with their primordial desires upheld social networks of related people where every single individualu2019s identity , rights and responsibilities were very clearly defined and given meaning. Contrary to First Nation values, there is far too much of a tendency to pigeonhole in this political society; this limitation has proven time and time to leave individuals faceless, lost and neglected. First Nations societies continue to maintain that for every single individual, there is an ancient ethical responsibility that our existence with others and with the earth calls forth and in order to maintain that responsibility we must equally celebrate every kinship tie.rn rnIn this crumbling network of production that we call the political society, where our First Nation children are regarded as commodities, where so many First Nations people are engulfed within the networks of ideologies that define the world we increasingly lose our primordial values; we must remember to continually refer back to the mutually dependent ideas, principals, traditions, gatherings and stories of our ancestors. First Nation ideologies function as a routine frame of reference ever reminding us to maintain balance with one another, balance with nature, balance in our body/mind/spirit and balance with all other living things. We will remember that it is our ideologies that kept us strong throughout thousands of years of ever changing life on this planet.rn rnWhere do we go from here? We continue to emphasize that each nation has its own unique culture but share common cultural values and as individual nations maintain our inherent right to self govern. To assist us in this endeavor, while respecting the political climate, it would be advantageous for us to initiate an official North American First Nations political party. We could be very effective but only if we maintained our traditional value systems. The NAFNP must begin by initiating our own u201cDirector of Child & Family services.u201d An branch that works directly with the Federal Government until at least the inconsistencies of the Indian Act are addressed; the provincial agencies primarily responsible for using our children as commodities can then focus more on reviewing or possibly redefining their lack of success in acting in the best interests of all children. I believe that if we start with family values, we can only get stronger; everything else, absolutely everything else will fall into balance. rnAll my relationsrn

  • Anonymous

    canada must defend itself in a world court system. it must defend itself on genocide and crimes against humanity.

  • Anonymous

    Just to add on to your reply, as a foster parent, I believe that children should never be split up like the old rez school days, but, you see that its still happening today under the guise of Child Family Services. The child is not the problem, why remove them, remove the real problem and that is the parent(s) caretaker maybe but DO NOT SPLIT THE CHILDREN. One of the worst crimes known to Natives and here we are still doing it but to ourselves! all because we do not want to bite the hand feeding us! It’s time to take a bite out of crime and this way of CFS and other similar agencies are nothing short of criminal.

  • Anonymous

    Much like the 60′s scoopers we have become, all because we choose not to bite the hand that feeds us! Looking at the way children are seperated from home, how can we say we are only interested in the childs welfare! Do not do unto our own as they have done unto us> residential schools and the scoop < we are supposed to have learned from the apology. maybe thats why they apologized because they knew these agencies are there to catch the fall! Remove the problem not the child(ren)!?!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WDNMYZ3RO2RL7E4OFYWIFBPMBM Danielle

    personally, i’m very happy APTN is taking the lead role in airing this issue on TV. big kudoes to them and the crew. We all need to start talking about this child welfare business but most importantly, we all need to act on what we suggest as citizens. Participate and not just talk.rn

  • Anonymous

    Yea I am happy the Aptn is talking about the child welfare system, their are so many secrets and lies that hide behind the system. Its not fair because now our own people our making us jump through hoops, its like once they felt the power in their own hands their is no stopping them from treating their people wrong. We have to come together and build our communities better and more stronger. They promise to build families strong and bring children together but we have seen nothing yet from them.rnIt shouldn’t be about our last names and who is runnin in the office that depends on us being parents, we have to come together and be strong here and lean on one another. These our babies we are fighting for, I am a young aboriginal mother and I did grew up in the system but I did broke that chain of Alochol and drugs that grew in my family. I am going to keep on fighting this system and fighting and I am not giving up yet because what is going on is just wrong!!!

  • Anonymous

    Yea I am happy the Aptn is talking about the child welfare system, their are so many secrets and lies that hide behind the system. Its not fair because now our own people our making us jump through hoops, its like once they felt the power in their own hands their is no stopping them from treating their people wrong. We have to come together and build our communities better and more stronger. They promise to build families strong and bring children together but we have seen nothing yet from them.rnIt shouldn’t be about our last names and who is runnin in the office that depends on us being parents, we have to come together and be strong here and lean on one another. These our babies we are fighting for, I am a young aboriginal mother and I did grew up in the system but I did broke that chain of Alochol and drugs that grew in my family. I am going to keep on fighting this system and fighting and I am not giving up yet because what is going on is just wrong

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_SVW4NC34GXY2DDMS4UQN5N5JCY Cherie Mclean

    my children were apprehanded many times by child welfare because of my substance abuse all my children were sexually,emotionally,physically,mentally and spiritually abused. My oldest children are PGO but CW is recinding the order & returning them home.My kids developed addictions while in care.The foster mother was not charged when my boys were sexually abused .Written by Cherie Laura McLean

  • Anonymous

    We need to scoop up many non-native children and teach them the proper history and ways of our people so that they can learn how to live a life free of racism, stereotypes and provide the kind of future where our children can truly grow and prosper….in a world without racism…..and discrimination… Once Canadians learn the true history and unlearn their racist attitudes we will begin to change the world in which we live.

  • Anonymous

    I too spent 8 years in foster care I too was physically sexually and emotionally as well as mentally abused. where do we go to erase that I have been in counselling off and on for 15 plus years. I still get very confused and angry about this.

  • Anonymous

    I spent eight years in foster care in the 60′s. I was physically, sexually and emotionally abused also spiritually I didn’t find my spirituality til the mid 80′s. Where is my compensation? I am still dealing with this. I have been in counselling off and on for the past 15 plus years. IDK what good this will do. May be just another way to vent my disappointment with that system. Maybe another way of getting it out there. I spent 15 years in and out of prisons, drug and alcohol treatment centers, dysfunctional relationships, psychiatric wards, enough. My wish 2011 gets better. And I’ll keep it real.