Our Children Matter.......

Sharon Lewis
Posted October 1, 2018 from Canada
Hand cuffs made to take Indigenous Children to Residential School,
Imagine having those handcuffed to your child for school; we want "real change"....not empty words.

I am a survivor of Kuper Island Residential School. All native children of Canada were pushed through a system to Assimilate into the larger Euro-Colonial way of life, talking, thinking, and being. Which pushed native languages across Canada into extinction. Native children were beaten, locked up, forced hard labour, strapped, hair cut off, numbered us; we were told our parents were savages. They fed us watered down porridge with worms in it.  Then, many children were sexually abused by nuns, brothers and the father. Many children were murdered that became pregnant because the nuns forced a delivery in the kitchen. Those girls were buried in graves outside without telling their parents. Many of those children grew up, drank, took drugs, could not function in a world of white peoples; while their culture vanished. 

Children were tortured, beaten, and when the government officials came to pick them up from reserves they used little handcuffs to secure them down. Imagine that! 

Today, native children are pushed through "foster care" under Child & Family Services, with many guises like "Prevention Services Programming" and Safety and Security of the child, yet all awhile pushing them through non-native foster homes, which has become a huge industry for non-native families raising foster children. Native children are worth more in foster care, to a foster parent than what the welfare system offers native parents to have their children at home. Its a process of making money on the misery of native peoples, living on a low fixed income and fighting a system that does not work in the favour of native families. Its time to understand, that the assimilation process thrives in the name of safety and prevention services of Child Welfare Programs.

Its very hard to forgive when a whole nation or church takes no accountability for their actions or wrongs they committed against Indigenous Children. Native people were also raped,

and used sexually by nuns or fathers and brothers of the church. Its difficult to live a normal life when that happens. There is no count or statistics on those little children in unmarked graves across North America; those children who did not make it home. The majority of children that grew up in residential school committed suicide. Many drank themselves to death. It is a broken country, full of hatred toward Indigenous Peoples, because of our lands unceded. Words do not bring back our dead....we seek initiatives for Re-Population after decades of depopulation, Compensation for those who died, and for those who survived.

How do we make a Treaty with a foreign government, when they have no respect for us as a nation of peoples. Our children matter...there is a whole hostile government taking absolute control of our programs and enforce acts on our children today. It is hostile and adversarial tactics on our families and children today, in a different way. Many native children are pushed through over crowded foster care, many foster homes are non-native, many children are aged out of foster care and run to the streets once they age out! They feel like they don't belong anywhere once they age out - many end up in federal prison. 

Making money on Misery is a Huge Money Making Industry in Canada; the Child Welfare System. We seek to find accountability, regaining our lands of Coast Salish Territory, and maybe we can find Reconciliation; we want Compensation for Genocide. Canadian Policy on the Indian Children brings nothing but misery; I know I survived residential school, but many of my friends in Kuper Island did not! Then, family and child social services tried to take my daughter - but had no reason to take her 39 years ago so they tried to buy her from me, for a white family who had a farm that wanted to buy her! So, the system is very hard on Indigenous Mothers today. I would spend the rest of my motherhood running from child & family services after I had children, until they grew up. No words of "can give me comfort" only "real change" by leaders and policy changes; the apology is empty to me. 

There will be No Pipeline coming through our lands - the Apology means nothing to us, like their Promise to Respect our land and Give it Back! Indian Act and Child Welfare Policies continue to Enforce Genocide. No Pipeline - they killed our waters for money, killed our wild-life for sport and money. There is no change, only a different kind of genocide today.

We must bring forth the true stories of Indigenous Mothers to end the treatment of our Mothers and their Children. Many mothers are afraid to speak-up or speak-out today! 

Your donations and needed and appreciated:

https://www.gofundme.com/IndigenousWomensResearch

 

 

Comments 3

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Jill Langhus
Oct 02, 2018
Oct 02, 2018

Hi Sharon,

Thanks for sharing your post and fundraiser. I hope you are making some progress. It's so sad that the indigenous cultures are looking the heritage, cultures, traditions, everything:-(

Beth Lacey
Apr 25
Apr 25

This is a very sad state. I hope you are able to make progress

Sharon Lewis
May 01
May 01

Its a difficult time; reconciliation. I believe the Government of Canada today is holding onto the "Indian Act" in order to maintain control over First Nations and Resources. Nothing is going to change, until it happens and the Government of Canada themselves are the Problem. We seek stronger partnerships, recognition for native family laws, protection from First Nation leaders. But, as time moves forward; more of the Native People are moving toward social work position, RCMP or Police positions. Assimilation is very real and very alive; its like trying to beat the Monster down. As like David and Goliath. Waiting for Reconciliation is like a "political deviance" in order to create the idea of hope but not actually giving it!