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.
Homes on the Siksika Nation Reserve in Alberta on pictured in 2009. In 1973, the Siksika First Nation, east of Calgary, became the first band to kick provincial child protection workers off their territory and start their own agency.
December 18, 2014 | National Post
Elders from the Wabaseemoong First Nation in north-western Ontario remember the bus that drove around their reserve picking up children and shuttling them to a waiting plane for a 345 kilometre flight north to Sandy Lake, a remote community with no outside road link, except for ice roads built on frozen lakes and rivers during the winter.
“When the planes landed at the dock, families there were told they could come down and pick out a kid,” said Theresa Stevens, executive director of Anishinaabe Abinoojii Family Services, the current child protection provider for Wabaseemoong.
Such mass apprehension of children from troubled Wabaseemoong, including those flights…
View original post 2,205 more words