Image courtesy Isaac Murdoch. Click here to watch Isaac tell the story behind this image.
“Our children are sacred and belong with their families and communities! They are not born to be a salary for Child Welfare employees!”
– Katherine Gandy, Bring Our Children Home Facebook page, 2017
Prayer Walk and Fifth Anniversary of Idle No More, by Stan Williams, Toronto, December 22, 2017. Courtesy Stan Williams.
“CAS will often aggravate the mother of the child welfare case, and as a result, the Mother will lose her shit, and then they say she is aggressive which blinds the justice. If your child has been apprehended, be strategic in your dealings with them. Also use your medicines and ceremonies to help get your child back. We need to use our own systems too, not just theirs. Their system is designed to keep children locked away so the industry thrives. Lets do all we can to help. #BringOurChildrenHome”
– Isaac Murdoch facebook post, Sept. 4, 2018
Isaac Murdoch‘s art work and Stan Williams’ photography bring attention to a Canadian behaviour that follows the pattern of the Sixties Scoop and residential schools, documented by Kent Monkman in his painting entitled The Scream, (below).
The Scream, Kent Monkman, 2017, 84″ x 126″, Acrylic on canvas. Courtesy Kent Monkman.
Tamara Malcolm documented her personal experience of this Canadian behaviour that carries the legacy of residential schools, on Twitter @TamaraMStory. Chris Martell, father of Evander Daniels who drowned while in foster care in 2010, initiated the Healing Camp for Justice in Saskatoon to begin a healing process and open discussion with Canadians on this topic. On August 28, 2018, Toronto First Nation activist Katherine Gandy celebrated her victory in the courts to get her son back:
“Today is a day I strived to see with my Family and Community.
A day where the corporation of Canada’s Subsidiary- a non profit corporation called Native Child and Family Services of Toronto (NCFST) can no longer endanger my Family and I through illegal child welfare provincial mandates. We endured Stalking and Harrassing because I Exerted my Sovernity and refused to allow for NCFST to push their so called power around towards my family which they were granted through interjurisdictional immunity in 2010 by a provincial judge.
I Self Presented in the provincial family court system three times. On Wednesday, August 22, 2018, I cited Secwepemc Nation laws to win in court. I am so honoured to represent the Secwepemc and Ojibway Nations to not only win for my Family, but for the Families of all Nations who are unjustly broken because of the Children being kidnapped.
I stand with all Nations, Individuals and Groups who are actively working for the immediate stop of genocide of our Peoples!
Kidnapping Indigenous children and placing them with non Native strangers is genocidal and is happening every single day in our country. There are more Native children in the Foster Removal System than in the height of attendance of residential schools.
Now, Families can cite my case when Exerting their Sovereignty. Kidnapping agencies will no longer hold the weight they do.
(Originally posted by Katherine Gandy on her Facebook page, August 28, 2018 and copied here with her permission.)
Historical Thinking Questions
Consider the information above and watch Shame and Prejudice: Artist Kent Monkman’s Story of Resilience.
1. How are Murdoch, Williams, Gandy, Monkman, Malcolm, and Martell helping Canadians understand the problem that Canada has created and continues to perpetrate against First Nation families? (Historical Significance)
Click on the links provided below to answer the following questions:
2. How did the creation of residential schools influence past and present living conditions for non-Indigenous settlers and Indigenous citizens in the past century?
3. The media often frames the era of residential schools, or the era of the Sixties Scoop as a “sad chapter in Canadian history”. Why is this phrase inaccurate? (Continuity & Change)
4. Why does the Canadian system continue to “remove First Nation children from their families?” Explain how this is possible in a country that claims to be fair, and what is required to change this pattern. (Continuity & Change)
5. How is the warrant requisitioned by Duncan Campbell Scott in 1895 still relevant today? (Historical Significance)
6. How did the general public react to Bryce’s research? Why did they react this way? Are Canadians capable of reacting differently today? What has changed? (Historical Perspective)
7. How has the Canadian government responded to Jordan’s Principle? Why do they think it’s okay to respond this way? (Historical Perspective)
8. Analyse the Canadian government’s response to the Blackstock’s Human Rights Tribunal case against them. How and why did they act this way? How and why is their reaction similar today? What role do Canadian citizens have in maintaining this pattern? (Historical Perspective)
Recommended Reading, Viewing & Listening
Stolen From Our Embrace by Suzanne Fournier and Ernie Crey
We Can’t Make the Same Mistake Twice (documentary film, 2016) by Alanis Obomsawin