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Old 03-04-18, 05:00   #1
 
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Hot Finding Cleo >Canada's Disgraceful 'Sixties Scoop' Adoption Program

Creator of Sixties Scoop Adoption Program Says it Wasn't Meant to Place Kids with White Families

Adopt Indian Métis Program (AIM), Called it 'Racist/Cultural Genocide'


Jennifer Fowler · CBC News: 22 Mar, 2018






Nora Cummings, who was president of the Saskatchewan Native Women's Association, recruited hundreds of women for a meeting with the provincial minister of social services in 1973 to protest adoption ads such as these. (Connie Walker/CBC)
....


The CBC podcast Finding Cleo, with host Connie Walker, follows a family's search for Cleo Semaganis Nicotine, who was adopted out of her Saskatchewan First Nations community and sent to live in the U.S. during what became known as the Sixties Scoop. Listen to the first eight episodes and read more about the program through which Cleo was adopted, which has been denounced by some as a form "cultural genocide."



It was a devastating day in April 1973 when Lillian Semaganis, a young Cree mother whose six children had all been taken by Saskatchewan, Canada social services, opened the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix newspaper to see two of her own daughters advertised for adoption.

Her friend Nora Cummings still chokes up when she remembers the moment.

"She came out holding this newspaper, and she was crying. And she said, 'These are my babies!'"


Quote:
She came out holding this newspaper and she was crying. And she said, "These are my babies!"

- Nora Cummings, on her friend Lillian Semaganis

.


The ad featuring the smiling faces of her children was for the Saskatchewan government's Adopt Indian Métis program (A.I.M.).


Cummings, who was president of the Saskatchewan Native Women's Association at the time, was so incensed that she immediately recruited hundreds of women for a meeting with the minister of social services to protest the ads.

"The little stories that were written up [to accompany the ads] — When I look at it now, I think about when you're looking to adopt a pet" Cummings said.



Once seen as a success by the Saskatchewan government, A.I.M. is now considered to be a tragic chapter of the Canadian Sixties Scoop Adoption Program , an era in which tens of thousands of Indigenous children were taken from their families and put in foster care or adopted, mostly into white families
....


Otto Driedger, an immigrant from German descent many years ago and a former Saskatchewan director of welfare who started A.I.M. and remained with the program for two years afterward, said its only goal was finding children permanent home

"The alternative was for them to be in foster homes because of the neglect there was or the abuse that there was in families," Driedger said in his first interview about the program since he left it in the late '60s.

Placing children with white families was "not the basis of the child welfare program," he said.





This ad appeared in the Regina Leader-Post newspaper on `4 Nov.1972. (Regina Leader-Post)


"While adopting Indigenous children into white homes might not have been the goal, it was largely the result.


And 50-year-old government documents uncovered by CBC investigating the disappearance of one of Lillian Semaganis's children, Cleopatra Semaganis Nicotine, known as Cleo, detail a tense struggle between the bureaucrats behind A.I.M and Indigenous groups in Saskatchewan who called the adoption program "racist" and an act of "cultural genocide."


Listen to Episode 6:

A closer look at Cleo's early life in Little Pine First Nation


You can listen to more EPs Here;

http://www.cbc.ca/radio/findingcleo/listen-to-missing-murdered-finding-cleo-1.4557887

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