Between 1955 and 1985, thousands of aboriginal children were taken from their homes by child welfare authorities without the consent of their parents. Under the cover of child protection, they were “adopted out” to white families or placed in non-indigenous foster homes. To ensure they never came back, death certificates were issued expunging any record of their aboriginal existence.
Beardy can’t say exactly how many children were scooped. No one knows. The Assembly of First Nations estimates 16,000 infants and children were uprooted. Some aboriginal groups put the number as high as 20,000.
Most of the adoptees — now in their 40s and 50s — are unaware of their aboriginal heritage and have no connection to their biological parents — exactly as Ottawa and the provinces intended.
Luckily a few remember.