In Michael Downey’s article, Canada’s “Genocide”: Thousands taken From Their Homes Need Help, he explains that the apprehensions of Aboriginal children between the 1960’s and 1980’s has implicated serve damage to a mass amount of First Nations people.
Downey describes the experiences of Carla Williams, an Aboriginal child removed from her home at the age of 4 years old and place with a white family who relocated to Amsterdam. Until the age of 25 Carla endured sexual and emotional abuse at the hand of her foster parents leading her down a path that lead to prostitution and substance abuse. Upon returning to her home at the age of 25, she discovered both her parents had taken their own lives due to having their children removed from their care.
Carla William’s story is not exclusive. Thousands of Native children were removed from their homes routinely by Child Welfare and shipped to non-native foster and adoptive homes over the course of three decades. Previous to these removals Aboriginals were subjected to Residential Schools, this results in as many as five generations of Aboriginal children being removed from their families.
Downey explains that in the 1950’s and 1960’s, Ottawa gaurtenteed payment to the Provinces for each First Nations child apprehended, the numbers of children exclusively in the care of the Government increased rapidly. These adoptions were rarely successful and more often than not, ending in the child’s suicide. Therefore, a process introduced in Manitoba in 1988, assured Aboriginal children removed from their family would only be placed with a non-aboriginal family as a last resort.
Personal stories from this time, deemed “the sixties scoop” are grim as identified in the stories of Joan Muir and Richard Cardinal. Culture and identities were lost, family contact was denied and familial connections were lost. These children were “enslaved, abused and