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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Colonizer and Assimilation (great quotes)

Kenn Richard, director of Native Child and Family Services of Toronto, and the man who commissioned the “Our Way Home” report:

“British colonialism has a certain process and formula, and it’s been applied around the world with different populations, often Indigenous populations, in different countries that they choose to colonize,” says Richard. “And that is to make people into good little Englishmen. Because the best ally you have is someone just like you. One of the ones you hear most about is obviously the residential schools, and residential schools have gotten considerable media attention over the past decade or so. And so it should, because it had a dramatic impact that we’re still feeling today. But child welfare to a large extent picked up where residential schools left off....

“The lesser-known story is the child welfare story and its assimilationist program. And you have to remember that none of this was written down as policy: ‘We’ll assimilate Aboriginal kids openly through the residential schools. And after we close the residential schools we’ll quietly pick it up with child welfare.’ It was never written down. But it was an organic process, part of the colonial process in general.”

"...Even now, researchers trying to determine exactly how many Aboriginal children were removed from their families during the 60s Scoop say the task is all but impossible because adoption records from the ‘60s and ‘70s rarely indicated Aboriginal status (as they are now required to).

Those records which are complete, however, suggest the adoption of native children by non-native families was pervasive, at least in Northern Ontario and Manitoba. In her March, 1999 report, “Our Way Home: A Report to the Aboriginal Healing and Wellness Strategy on the Repatriation of Aboriginal People Removed by the Child Welfare System,” author Janet Budgell notes that in the Kenora region in 1981, “a staggering 85 percent of the children in care were First Nations children, although First Nations people made up only 25 percent of the population. The number of First Nations children adopted by non-First Nations parents increased fivefold from the early 1960s to the late 1970s. Non-First Nations families accounted for 78 per cent of the adoptions of First Nations children.”

Quote from news article: STOLEN NATION (article posted on this blog! use google to find it)

[Child welfare is (in fact) the permanent and closed adoptions of North American Indian Children by non-Indian parents... these quotes are from my archives... Trace]

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