Child welfare system accused of repeating Residential School history

When i was an outreach & community development worker in ThunderBay,Ontario, a young first nations mother shared this with me ..”My own mother was an alcoholic and i was taken away when i was young, and raised by foster parents in Winnipeg. My brothers and sisters were also removed, and to this day, I don’t really know where they are. My grandmother told me a story one day about how there was no sound of children one day…after the Indian Agents came and took them all away” … I tried to imagine what the The sound of children disappearing..would really sound like … The silence..the heartbreak… the anguish….First Nations people share history through oratories .. through mentoring … How could those children ever know their own stories if they were taken away by people who would serve to shame them..to humiliate them..to hurt them..to abuse them.. To cut their beautiful hair..slap the native out of them … It is just so very traumatic to even think about this .. How could a young person ever grow up to learn what it is to be a mother..or a father .. They had no way to learn these things when they were taken away from all the things that represented their own ways..their own culture…
Yes… the sound of no children … a hollow sound indeed. The young first nations mom who did eventually trust me enough to attend one of my playgroups, and parenting groups left an indellible mark on me. I have never forgotten her, or her beautiful children with the lush black hair … She understood that her own mother was an alcoholic as a direct result of not being raised within her own community.. by living through such violence and trauma that were perpetrated on her…as a young child..How heavy her footsteps must have felt, walking through life carrying such sadness and trauma.. Alcohol became the only refuge for a broken heart …a numbing medicine to chase away the bad dreams. The sound of no children playing..singing..drumming… what an isolated existence that must have been.

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