Canadian Indigenous protest government’s ignoring First Nations for 150 years. | Photo: Reuters Canadian officials have changed a government adoption website that listed children’s ethnicity, and were advertised for "like pets," critics say.
One ad read, “meet bubbly Skylar! … an animated and cheerful youngster who is bursting with life; she has a smile that lights up the room.”
The Ministry of Children and Family Development, MCFD, website also made it possible for potential parents to search children by age, gender and ethnicity, which many said was highly problematic and even harmful. Real names were withheld from the profile.
"It actually makes me uncomfortable, especially if you can search ‘Indigenous girl,’" said Ronda Merrill-Parkin, a 26-year-old Cree mother who lived in foster care for 12 years of her youth.
"What if they are a predator? … ‘I was really upset."
The agency was criticized for creating an adoption platform strikingly similar to the infamous “Sixties Scoop,” a Canadian government initiative that forcibly removed or coerced over 20,000 Indigenous children from their families in the 1960s and 1970s. They were put up for adoption across Canada and the United States.
Survivors sued the Canadian government, which is currently paying out approximately US$627 million to Sixties Scoop victims.
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The government advertised their profiles, including pictures, in newspapers across the U.S. and Canada. An ad from the 1970s read, “youngster loves outdoors,” above a picture of an infant Indigenous child.
On the MCFD site, one profile read, “6 year old Jenny is a young aboriginal girl who is most in her element when she is in nature.”
Katrine Conroy, the British Columbia Minister for Children and Family Development, said she was upset by the suffering the government website may have caused Indigenous and took action. The profiles were taken down Nov. 1 and adopting parents can no longer search the site by profiles.
"I understand how hard it could be having to relive that trauma," of the Scoop, Conroy said.Merrill-Parkin said the changed web sites "makes me feel relieved.”Ojibwe mother Melanie Haimerl, a Sixties Scoop survivor said of the change, "I guess I am happy with the move, but I just see it as [government] guilt.”She said there still a disproportionate number of indigenous kids trapped in government foster care, so much that she and others just initiated the Keeping Our Children Today organization to eliminate government apprehensions of indigenous.play-rounded-fill play-rounded-outline play-sharp-fill play-sharp-outlinepause-sharp-outline pause-sharp-fill pause-rounded-outline pause-rounded-fill00:00 Share Embed pause-sharp-outline pause-sharp-fill pause-rounded-outline pause-rounded-fill0:00 0:00
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