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Stolen Generations

Stolen Generations is a project that attempts to deal with one of the most significant issues arising in the aftermath of residential schools, namely the policy and practice of the adoption of Aboriginal children outside their inherent cultural groups.

In Canada, the perceptions and attitudes of the non-Aboriginal community often translated into adoption practices that served as a continuation and intensification of the residential school policy. The results were illustrated through situations of ultimate and complete disconnection from personal identity, family and community (and their potential for support), for both the adoptee and the birth family. The governments' policy and practice involving the removal of Aboriginal children through apprehension and adoption succeeded in further fragmenting and isolating Aboriginal people.

Our project hopes to contribute something to the healing process for adoptees that have faced the affects of these policies first hand. We hope to use the wisdom and strength of those that have endured and survived the adoption journey to help rebuild links to an identity that is their birthright.

The primary goals of the Stolen Generations project will be the formation of the Stolen Generations Book of Voices and the development of an Internet Resource Website.

Book of Voices - Through the collection of stories, poetry and artwork that will be shared in the Book of Voices, it is expected that adoptees will have a source of information that will enable them to begin to understand what they have gone through, and what can be done to bring themselves to a stronger place. Further, it is expected that the broader community will begin to learn and understand what their members have gone through, and what affect this has had on them and their community as a whole. With this, we believe that communities can begin to use the understanding that is developed, to create supportive communities.

Internet Resource Website - The Resource Website will provide a place of sharing and discussion through the use of current technology. It is anticipated that the development of a setting where one can choose to remain anonymous, visitors will feel free to hear, learn and discuss the issue of adoption and share their stories with others who have been subjected to similar experiences. Through the discussion of experiences and the sharing of information on the issue, comes the opportunity to heal and support others in their journey of healing.


What we need from you

Stories -- We are inviting those that have experienced adoption and are interested in sharing their story with others to contact us so that we can provide them with the opportunity to share with others in the Book of Voices. We are collecting stories, poetry and artwork that reflect the unique and diverse experiences that Aboriginal adoptees have lived through. Submissions that are received will be compiled into a publication that will be freely distributed to agencies and individuals across Canada.

Internet Resource Website Input -- We are inviting individuals and organizations that deal with the issue of adoption to the initial phase of the Stolen Generations website to provide feedback as to what the final phase of the Resource Website should include. Visitors can visit us at www.stolengenerations.ca for more information.

Meet the Project Team

Scott Stephens,
Lac Seul First Nation
Stolen Generations Coordinator/Researcher

Originally I am from Lac Seul First Nations, although I was born, adopted and raised in Sault St. Marie Ontario. Apprehended from birth, I spent my first year in a placement home before I was adopted. The adoption broke down and I subsequently spent the remainder of my adolescence in "the system". I moved to Winnipeg when I was seventeen and have since completed an undergraduate degree in Cultural Studies and Psychology. I hope to continue on in a Graduate program after this project is completed. I am currently active in my community and volunteer much of my time to community service organizations like Ndinawemaaganag Endaawaad a safe home for youth and Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata, a family and community resource centre.

This project has been a dream of mine for many years and hope you can be a part of it!

Aiden Todd,
Norway House First Nation
Stolen Generations Researcher

I was raised in Winnipeg with my adoptive family. My home community is originally Norway House Cree Nation, Manitoba. I was repatriated with my biological family when I was 19 years old and now have a close connection with them. In June of 2002, I attained my Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Justice and Law Enforcement and Sociology. I am excited to have the opportunity to participate in this project as I believe that all our thoughts, feelings and expressions put together will help unify our voice as an adoptee.

Shannon Letandre,
Dauphin River First Nation
Stolen Generations Researcher
I was raised in Dauphin River First Nation, and although I do not live there right now, it is still very much my home. In 2001, I attained a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Political Science at the University of Winnipeg. Before I began working on Stolen Generations, I had the opportunity to participate on a project that involved consulting with urban Aboriginal youth on the issue of self-government and putting their thoughts and ideas in a booklet.
In the past, I have worked within a community organization to assist in the delivery of various programs to community members. The most memorable project that I was involved with consisted of interviewing elders for the research component of an environmental report that was done by the organization. Over the years, I have learned that my passion lies in listening to stories that people have to tell, whether it be cultural stories or stories about peoples lives. I am excited about being a part of something that will not only effect Aboriginal adoptees and the people around them, but generations to come.