The indigenous people have called Canada home for thousands of years, even before the European colonisation. Their current population in the country stands at approximately 1.4 million people.
Even though the current government is making sincere efforts in establishing cordial relations with the indigenous people, there have been grave injustices done to them in the past that have left the cleft too wide.
One of those injustices included forcible severance of indigenous children from their respective families and putting them up for adoption.
As a step to compensate the wrong and repair the broken ties, the Canadian government has agreed to pay $600 million to the indigenous clan.
The practice that began in 1965 continued for about 2 decades after that. A rough estimate shows that there were around 35,000 people who were affected by this exploitation.
Although the program itself required social workers to effectively communicate with the leaders of the indigenous communities on the need for social services for the children, but it was seldom done.
In addition to that, the social workers placed in remote communities lacked formal training and knowledge of the indigenous culture, heritage, and way of life. As a result, the most important aspect of this culture – communal child rearing – was ignored by the social workers.
This led the social workers into believing that the indigenous kids would be better off somewhere else, than in their own homes and communities. Hence, they simply took the kids away and put them up for adoption.
The program took the kids away from their families, stripped them off their birth rates and fed them to a system that funnelled them into the white society.
These kids, now grown up, have shown an alarming state of mental, social, and emotional issues that they’ve faced all their lives.
Today, they find themselves in an emotional, social, and cultural limbo between finding acceptance in both the indigenous and the southern white communities of Canada.
Meagan Kozlovs is a reporter for Debate Report. She’s worked and interned at Global News Toronto and CHECX. Megan is based in Toronto and covers issues affecting her city. In addition to her severe milk shake addiction, she’s a Netflix enthusiast, a red wine drinker, and a voracious reader.