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Blue skies and a pleasant breeze


									                                          SHARING KNOWLEDGE OF ABORIGINAL ADOPTEES AND OTHERS PLACED IN CARE

Published         quarterly          by    Connecting              with All         My     Relations          •   Fall / Winter          2002

                                                                                                        Our Son A Stranger Page 4
                                                                                                        Aboriginal Children
                                                                                                       Agreement is Historic Page 5
                                                                                                                    Join Us Page 7

                                                                                                  Blue skies and a
                                                                                                  pleasant breeze.
                                                                                                                      BY MARIEL BELANGER

                                                                                                  With blue skies and a pleasant breeze,
                                                                                                  the Odawa Pow Wow brought promise of
                                                                                                  fun and friendship for its 26th annual Pow
                                                                                                  Wow in Ottawa, Ontario. Both new and
                                                                                                  old dancers congregated in friendly
                                                                                                  competition in hopes of netting first prize
                                                                                                  in category.

                                                                                                  The Odawa Pow Wow brings dancers and
                                                                                                  spectators from around the world.
                                                                                                  International visitors fill the bleachers
                                                                                                  watching in awe as a culture displays its
                                                                                                  pride. This year both dancers and spectators
                                                                                                  were given a special treat as actor and
                                                                                                  adoptee Adam Beach took to the mic.

                                                                                                  Adam Beach, a Saulteaux native from
           An interview with Mark                                                                 Winnipeg, was adopted by relatives after

  Artist, Musician and Writer
                                                                     BY BEVERLEY MCKIVER
                                                                                                  his parents died tragically when he was
                                                                                                  young. Adam spoke to the audience about
                                                                                                  his recent movie Windtalkers as well as his
                                                                                                  experience being a native actor. Not
                                                                                                  only did he take the time to speak to
                                                                                                  the audience, Adam graciously stood for
                                                                                                  photos and autographs. Adam was not
                                                                                                  the only native star present at this year’s
Once in awhile, a person experiences           Nation, near Massey, Ontario. He was
                                                                                                  Pow Wow. Other ‘The Rez’ stars that were
serendipity - a happy and unexpected           adopted and grew up on Manitoulin Island.
                                                                                                  present included: Darryl Dennis and his
accidental discovery. Such was the case        I asked Mark about his early years:
                                                                                                  wife Tamara Podemski as well as her sister
the day that my daughter and I stopped in at
                                                                                                  Jennifer Podemski. Up and coming blues
the Ottawa Bagel Shop and Deli for lunch       After the horrors of the CAS and the foster home
                                                                                                  musician George Leach was also present.
and viewed an exhibition of striking and       experience were behind me, I arrived in
                                                                                                  This year’s Pow Wow marks a first for
vibrant paintings by Mark Seabrook. Mark       Mindemoya the summer before Grade 2.
is a multi-talented artist, musician and
writer. He is an Ojibwe from Sagamok First                             (continued on page 2)                          (continued on page 3)
An interview with Mark Seabrook - Artist, Musician and Writer / Continued from page 1

I was treated to a rural community, with               Mark talks about the influence of clans on a          Mark lives in Ottawa during the summer
thousands of acres of forests, lakes, rivers and       person’s path in life:                                months but teaches public school on the
open fields. It was a safe place for children and I                                                          Rapid Lake Indian Reserve in Northern
was able to roam at will and reacquaint myself         Clans, I think, are great stories from the past. In   Quebec the rest of the year. The contrast
with the colors, sounds and fragrances of the          modern First Nations communities I don’t see          between urban and rural experience
night. It was a magical place full of music, song,     much of the old clan system at work. I believe in     nourishes Mark’s creative spirit:
extended family, a positive and healthy                the old clan way, and I believe when you are
environment, perfect for the woodland child.           born into certain clans, you have an ancient,         Being from the rural setting in childhood, I enjoy
                                                       almost “automatic” internal program at work. All      the wilderness of northern Quebec very much. I
A graduate of Laurentian and Queen's                   of my family members are artistic, even though        love to be on the land and the lakeshore,
Universities in Native Studies and                     most of them have chosen not to use those             experiencing the wind and the waves, the trees
Education, Mark studied Fine Arts at                   abilities. I can see basic elements of the clans      and bird songs, never speaking to another human
Georgian College. He is a practitioner of the          within my brothers and sisters, even though they      soul. But I absolutely need the variety of the
Woodland style, influenced by the great                may have chosen not to develop some of those          urban experience: art galleries, music recitals,
Ojibwe painter Norval Morriseau. Mark                  talents at this point in time.                        concerts, poetry readings, speakers discussing
describes his discovery of the Woodland
style and its impact on him:

    “I believe in the
    old clan way, and
    I believe when you
    are born into certain
    clans, you have an
    ancient, almost
    “automatic” internal
    program at work.”

At art school I was given the assignment
to report the origins of the Woodland art style to
the rest of the class. It was then that I discovered
Norval Morrisseau’s six-panel, “Man Changing
Into a Thunderbird” I guess you could say I had
drifted away from Ojibwe pride by this time at
age 19. When I saw this masterpiece it was the
beginning of the journey of cultural rediscovery. I
started looking at paintings by Blake Debassige,
Martin Panamick, Carl Beam, John Laford and
Michael Robinson. I also got to know people at
the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation in West Bay on
Manitoulin Island, and through this, I developed
a serious interest in the local First Nations art
and dance scene. I found I could relate to the
stories and ideas within the paintings and dance,
even though I was raised in a white family,
far away from the language and culture
of woodland Ojibwe.
                                                             Mark lives in Ottawa during the summer months but teaches public school on the
A selection of Mark's paintings can
                                                             Rapid Lake Indian Reserve in Northern Quebec the rest of the year. Mark is also a
be seen on his personal website at
                                                             member of the Juno-nominated band No Reservations. The band was formed in The clans of his
                                                             March of 1995 in Sudbury. They have independently released two CDs, the first
parents - the bird and fish clans - are
                                                             nominated for a Juno award in 1998.
featured prominently in his work.

Indigenous Links • Fall/Winter 2002
                                                                              Blue skies and a pleasant breeze / Continued from page 1

philosophy, live jazz, and exotic fashions. This experience is constant       many beginning dancers. Among the veteran dancers, adoptee and
encouragement to continue my artistic projects and to stretch in as many      Connecting With All My Relations member Mark Rutledge
ways possible.                                                                emerged for the first time in traditional regalia. With the help of
                                                                              fellow adoptee Jeffrey Lee, Mark was determined to be ready to
Mark is also a member of the Juno-nominated band                              dance at this year’s Pow wow.
No Reservations. The band was formed in March of 1995 in
Sudbury. They have independently released two CDs, the first
                                                                                 “This year’s Pow Wow marks
nominated for a Juno award in 1998. In 1999, they were nominated
for best Aboriginal rock band at the First Canadian Aboriginal                   a first for many dancers. Among
Awards. No Reservations has most recently appeared at the
                                                                                 the veteran dancers, adoptee
Indian Summer Festival in Milwaukee, Wisconsin September 6-8,
2002. Performing all original music, their songs reflect the                     and Connecting With All My
modern urban Native experience. To hear samples of their music
                                                                                 Relations member Mark Rutledge
and to find out more about this innovative band, visit their
website at                                              emerged for the first time in
                                                                                 traditional regalia.”
Mark is a prolific writer of music, poetry and short stories, and has
a novel in progress. His semi-autobiographical one-act play entitled
“20th Century Indian Boy” was produced by Wikwemikong's                       They began their preparations in March and finished the morning
Debajehmujig Theatre and toured Ontario in the winter of 1992/93.             of the Pow Wow. Another step in healing begun as Mark danced
He is currently working on a teaching guide to make the play                  in the arbour bearing chosen colours of red, white and blue.
accessible for the high school curriculum. Mark has also acted in             Adoptees overcoming their often tragic beginnings and fulfilling
numerous theatre productions.                                                 their dreams of acting in Hollywood movies or dancing in
                                                                              traditional regalia offers hope to all.
When asked about how being an Aboriginal adoptee has influenced
his life and work, Mark responded:

It would be a shame to have gone through this world never having seen
the beauty created by the many other races of people in the history of this
world. Living in the natural world up here in the woodlands has been a
beautiful experience and there is more to the world than that one single
experience. One of my teachers always told me to see the world through
as many lenses as possible, hopefully using the wide angles more than the
normals and telephotos. Another teacher told me to experience roads of a
different color other than the red road, and to pay more attention to the
beauty on those other roads and not the negative.

This philosophy is echoed in all of Mark’s endeavours.

Cover artwork by Mark Seabrook.
Aabiish enjiibayin? No. 3.
(Ojibway translation: Where did you come from?)
Acrylic on canvas, 24x36” Painted in Ottawa, April 2001.

 MKO Repatriation Program
 If you know you were born in Northern Manitoba you
 may contact us:

 Manitoba Keewapinowi Okinakanak Inc (MKO)
 #200 - 701 Thompson Drive
 Thompson, Manitoba R8N 2A3
 T Free: 1-800-442-0488
  oll                                                                               Another step in healing begun as Mark danced in the
                                                                                    arbour bearing chosen colours of red, white and blue.

                                                                                                        Fall/Winter 2002 • Indigenous Links
Book Review

Our Son A Stranger                              that the rate of adoption failure for
                                                Aboriginal children is as high as 95%. Ken
                                                                                                enable Aboriginal people to properly care for
                                                                                                their own children.
Marie Adams
                                                Richard, executive director of Native Child
McGill-Queen’s University
                                                and Family Services in Toronto, estimates       I found the book to be well researched and
Press 2002
                                                that as many as eight out of ten Aboriginals    a balanced search for answers in response to
                                                on Toronto streets were adopted by non-         a tragic personal loss. It addresses the gap in
                   BY BEVERLEY MCKIVER          Aboriginal parents. He speculates that their    the adoption literature on the topic of
                                                adoptions had typically broken down by the      adoption breakdown and contributes to a
In 1973 Marie and Rod Adams adopted
                                                time the child was 11 or 12. A 1990 survey of   view of the adoption triad in the unique
Tim, a two and a half year Cree boy. He
                                                Aboriginal prisoners in Prince Albert           context of the adoption of Aboriginal
began displaying severe behavioural
                                                penitentiary found that over 95% came from      children.
problems almost immediately and left
                                                either a group home or foster home.
home at the age of twelve. Between the
                                                                                                I felt that the book could have benefited
ages of twelve and twenty-one Tim
                                                Adams searches for explanations for their       from the inclusion of at least one female
embarked on a cycle of group homes,
                                                adoption difficulties and enumerates a          adoptee, although Adams notes that the six
detention centers and self-destructive
                                                number of factors ranging from the              families chose to focus on their sons even
behaviour. On August 26, 1992, Tim
                                                prevalence of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in         when there were other adopted children in
succumbed to injuries from an alcohol-
                                                Aboriginal communities to lack of support       the family. I would recommend that any
related accident, seemingly a form of
                                                for the adoptive parents.                       Aboriginal adoptee contemplating reading
passive suicide.
                                                                                                this book have a healthy dose of self-esteem
Marie Adams was motivated by her
                                                                                                   “She advocates
experience to research the problems of
adoption breakdown, and more specifically,                                                         for improved
the problems faced by non-Aboriginal
Canadians who adopt Aboriginal children.
                                                                                                   living standards on
Her book Our Son A Stranger – Adoption                                                             reserves and family
Breakdown and Its Effects on Parents details
the results of her research. Five other
                                                                                                   support structures
adoptive couples participated in her study.                                                        to enable Aboriginal
Part One of the book introduces us to the
                                                                                                   people to properly
six families (including Adams’) in the study.                                                      care for their own
In each profile, the parents focus on pre-
adoption events and early adoption
experiences. They were asked to recall an
                                                                                                at hand, dealing as it does with worst-case
“Ideal-Family Memory” which most closely
                                                                                                scenarios. I feel that there is a danger that
captures their idea of an ideal family, and a
                                                                                                this book will contribute to a perception
“Disruption Memory” in which the parents
                                                                                                that all Aboriginal adoptions are doomed to
realize that the adoptive relationship has
                                                                                                failure and that Aboriginal children are
broken down irrevocably. By contrasting the
                                                                                                inherently damaged goods. To be fair,
two memories, Adams attempts to
                                                   Marie Adams was motivated by her             Adams does address the problems of
understand the process involved in
                                                   experience to research the problems of       Aboriginal children attempting to “reconcile
redefining the family construct.
                                                   adoption breakdown, and more                 their visible ethnic identity with the
                                                   specifically, the problems faced by          surrounding white society” and the racism
Part Two of the book summarizes Adams’
                                                   non-Aboriginal Canadians who adopt           and identity crises that they encounter. She
conclusions about why people adopt and the
                                                   Aboriginal children.                         also struggles with what she sees as her naïve
process of adoption breakdown. She
                                                                                                participation in a government policy of
describes the process of adoption breakdown
                                                Adams’ recommendations to prevent               assimilation that condoned the active
on the part of the parents as an emotional
                                                adoption breakdown include increased            marketing of Aboriginal children.
journey through denial, anger, shame, guilt,
                                                awareness and additional education for
grief and acceptance. In the final chapter of
                                                adoptive parents and social workers,            On the whole, I found Our Son A Stranger
the book Adams addresses the lack of
                                                disclosure of all relevant background           – Adoption Breakdown and Its Effects on
support for adoptive parents with special
                                                information of the child, improved follow-      Parents to be useful and enlightening.
needs children and makes recommendations.
                                                up of the adoption and recognition of the
                                                Aboriginal identity of the child. She           For further information about
Adams quotes some startling statistics about
                                                advocates for improved living standards on      Marie Adams and her book, visit
Aboriginal adoptees. Some have speculated
                                                reserves and family support structures to

Indigenous Links • Fall/Winter 2002
How It All Started                                    • Raising awareness that the social, political,
                                                        economic and cultural conditions in
                                                                                                            to connect with their relations.

Connecting With All My Relations got its                communities that lead to the apprehension         Why?
unofficial start in October, 2000 in Ottawa,            of Aboriginal children is a human                 Aboriginal children have been consistently
Ontario, Canada. Beverley McKiver and Mark              rights issue;                                     over-represented in the child welfare system for
Rutledge were asked to make a presentation            • Advancing activities and resources to             the past several decades. This has resulted in the
about Aboriginal adoptees and their unique              be developed in order to reclaim lost             disruption of many families.
situation to Parent Finders, an advocacy group          identity; and
for people in the adoption triad. Greg Dreaver        • Promoting healthy communities.                    As adults who were removed from our
introduced himself and after the meeting, the                                                             communities through no choice of our own,
three discussed the possibility of starting a         Values                                              we have come together to aid others who find
group for Aboriginal people trying to reconnect       We will work towards our vision in a culturally     themselves in a similar situation. The underlying
with their communities and families.                  appropriate and holistic way as embodied in the     common theme of our journeys is the search for
                                                      Medicine Wheel teachings.                           our identities and cultures.
The New Y duly arrived, Marcel Balfour’s
uncanny sense of timing led him to get in touch       What We Do                                          As Aboriginal people, we believe that children
with Beverley through her website devoted to          Here is a list of the projects we are working on:   are our future and that we have a responsibility
Native adoptees. Living in the Ottawa area as         • Comprehensive web-portal;                         to ensure that such wide-spread removal never
well, Marcel was interested in creating a group       • Quarterly newsletter;                             happens again. We acknowledge that the paths
for Canadian Aboriginal people who had been           • Media watch on issues regarding                   we walk are unique in nature and we are all at
adopted, fostered or wards of state. Beverley           Aboriginal child welfare;                         different stages of our journeys.
took that as a sign that the timing was right and     • Clearinghouse of information related
that this group was meant to be, so                     to repatriation and child welfare issues; and;    We wish to provide support for those seeking to
arrangements were made to meet at the Bay             • Database of people who are seeking                reconnect with their relations.
Street Bistro on January 23, 2001.

The first meeting was an exhilarating success,
                                                      Aboriginal Children Agreement is Historic
with all the participants sharing their stories and   Reprinted with permission from the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs.
their visions of what the group could be. Since
                                                      PRESS RELEASE                                       the Union of British Columbia Indian
that day, we have met every two weeks, with
                                                      FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                               Chiefs, the First Nations Summit, United
new members joining along the way to share
                                                                                                          Native Nations, Metis Provincial Council of
their talents and concerns. We have worked
                                                      September 9, 2002                                   BC and the provincial government to create
steadily towards incorporation as a non-
                                                                                                          a joint management committee to oversee
profitable national organization. From the start,
                                                      (Vancouver, Coast Salish Territory/September 9,     the establishment and development of
we agreed that one of our main objectives
                                                      2002) A Memorandum of Understanding                 Regional Aboriginal Authorities. The
would be to share information with others and
                                                      (MOU) was signed today between BC                   committee will discuss issues of safety and
that we could best achieve that goal by
                                                      Aboriginal leaders and the Province of British      security of aboriginal children and families
developing a comprehensive website,
                                                      Columbia, allowing Aboriginal children to                              r
                                                                                                          as the province t ansfers child protection
                                                      grow up within their own families and their         and family development resources and
                                                      own communities.                                    services to five Regional Aboriginal
To regain the mental, physical, emotional and
                                                      "Today we have come together and in the
spiritual well-being of Aboriginal people who
                                                      presence of our Creator and our Ancestors           Chief Phillip concluded, "We cannot stand
have been removed from their families,
                                                      to make a very public commitment to                 idly by and do nothing when we know that
communities and cultures.
                                                      dedicate our collective effort to safeguard         aboriginal children make up 40 per cent of
                                                      the future interest of our children," stated        the children in provincial care. The regional
                                                      Chief Stewart Phillip at today’s signing            aboriginal authorities will allow for
Our mission is to work towards the well-being
                                                      ceremony. "It is a truly historic MOU where         aboriginal communities to take control at
of Aboriginal people who have been
                                                      the Aboriginal leaders from the Union of            the local level. From the UBCIC
removed from their families, communities
                                                      British Columbia Indian Chiefs, First               perspective, we believe that the
and cultures by:
                                                      Nations Summit, United Native Nations,              establishment of these authorities is only the
 • Being a strong voice for Aboriginal
                                                      Metis Provincial Council of BC, service             initial step to bring down the number of our
    people who have been removed from
                                                      delivery organizations, and the Province of         children in care. There is certainly a lot of
    their families, communities and cultures;
                                                      BC agree to set aside our political and             work to do but we will only succeed if we
• Sharing information and knowledge,
                                                      ideological differences and commit to work          can remember and continuously carry in
   resources and support;
                                                      collectively together for our children."            our hearts the solemn commitment we
• Advocating for the protection of the
                                                                                                          made here today."
   most valuable resource of Aboriginal
                                                      The MOU is a working framework that
   communities - Aboriginal children;
                                                      will serve to create a partnership to enable                             – 30 –

                                                                                                             Fall/Winter 2002 • Indigenous Links

Listserv                                                           Southern Manitoba First Nations
There is a new listserv for discussing Canadian adoption issues.
                                                                   Repatriation Program
It has been set up by the North American Council on Adoptable
Children in co-operation with the Adoption Council of Canada.      Souther n Man itoba Fi r st Nat ions
This new listserv URL is                                           Repat r iation Program is a non-            prof it program that ass ists those
Anyone can join. For further information please contact            Man itoba Fir st Nat ions who have or                                    been removed f rom their birth
                                                                   famil ies, by means of adopt ion
FAS and Other Drug-Related Effects:                                and/or foster care home
Doing What Works. Conference.                                      placemen t s.
Feb. 21-22, 2003, Vancouver, B.C. -- Coast Plaza Hotel.            SMFNRP provides search, counselling and
Expert knowledge and best practices in dealing with FAS.           reunification support services to all family members
UBC Interprofessional Continuing Education, 604-822-4965,
                                                                   searching for their lost family members. SMFNRP,
                                                                   works in conjunction with the 36 Southern First
                                                                   Nations Bands to assist in search and reunifications.
Fetal Alcohol Exposure: Time                                       The SMFNRP is currently located in Winnipeg and
to Know, Time to Act.                                              is housed under the West Region Child and Family
                                                                   Services Organization.
Apr. 10-11, 2003, Toronto -- Ontario's Provincial Conference,
for people who work with pregnant women or people who              Toll Free: 1-800-665-5762,
work with individuals who were prenatally exposed to alcohol.      In Manitoba 1-204-985-6910
Best Start,,,            Address: Suite 434 - 167 Lombard Ave,
416-408-2249 x266, 1-800-397-9567 x266                             Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 0T6,

   Adoption/Foster Care Healing Circle
     If you are Aboriginal; 18 years of age & over, Come and Join Us in exploring
     the issues related to your expriences of being Adopted or/and being placed
                                    in Foster Care.

  Share your stories, personal experiences in a safe and nurturing environment.
                   Food, Bus Tickets & Refreshments provided.

                              Starting Thusday January 9, 2003 at 6:00pm

    Facilitators: Elaine Endanawas and Florence Hiltz
    Contact:      Elaine Endanawas, Pinganodin Lodge: Residential School Healing Centre

                  Pinganodin Lodge: Residential School Healing Centre
 Suite 100-119 Ross Street (off Wellington Street), Ottawa, Ontario, K1Y 0N6 Tel: (613) 761-9835
                            Made possible through the Aboriginal Healing Foundation

Indigenous Links • Fall/Winter 2002
Join Us                                          organization. We will develop relationships
                                                 with other organizations and deal with
                                                                                                  and follows our Code of Ethics and Conflict
                                                                                                  of Interest Guidelines.
Volunteering is the most fundamental act of      relevant membership issues.
citizenship and philanthropy in our society                                                       Web-Portal Committee:
and makes sense from a collective                Fundraising Committee:                            ou
                                                                                                  Y don't have to be a web techie to join
Aboriginal perspective. It is offering time,     This exciting group of people will be            this committee. People involved will be
energy and skills of one's own free will         responsible for obtaining funding for our        developing the website content. There are
for the betterment of our people. As a           organization. The contributions will go          many areas in which to contribute,
volunteer, join Connecting With All My           towards activities, web portal, capital costs,   everything from doing research to helping
Relations and make contacts, learn skills,       creating a fund to provide money for             us identify what the web-portal will do.
gain work experience, build self-esteem          adoption circles for local groups. In addition
and improve health.            Volunteering      we will discuss ways of raising money:           Public Relations Committee:
encourages community integration and             develop a fundraising plan (and budget) and      This outgoing group of people will be
cohesion by encouraging friends, colleagues,     get monies from government grants/               responsible for all corporate communica-
and neighbors to work together through the       funding, foundations, donations, and             tions of our organization. This includes the
sharing of knowledge to connect all our          membership fees.                                 areas of organizational writing and editing,
relations.                                                                                        marketing, media relations, investor relations
                                                 Finance Committee:                               and management, press release writing,
Membership Committee:                            The finance committee will see to it that        distribution, and Web PR, monitoring,
The main objective for this committee will       our organization is meeting all accounting       analyzing and shaping communication
be to invite new members and volunteers          requirements of a non-profit corporation,        strategies and tracking market issues and
to participate in the activities of the          adheres to necessary laws and legislation,       trends.

Our Logo                                                                                          It teaches respect for our life path, respect for
                                                                                                  Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal world-views
The Medicine Wheel                                                                                and the challenge to maintain the balance
An ancient teaching tool/symbol among                                                             between the two.
Aboriginal people of Turtle Island. The
holistic principles of the Medicine Wheel                                                         Sweet Grass
teach us of the cycle of life and how we,                                                         One of the four Sacred Medicines on the
not just people, but all living life forms,                                                       Medicine Wheel, it represents the hair of
are all interrelated, interconnected and                                                          Mother Earth and our connection to her. The
interdependent.                                                                                   braided sweet grass teaches us that the three
                                                                                                  strands represent mind, body and spirit. When
The T   urtle                                                                                     it is braided, it becomes one and it is strong.
Represents to our People, Mother Earth, who
has always provided a safe place for all her                                                      Four Colors & Directions
children since the beginning of time. Her                                                         Represent the four colors of humankind:
heartbeat calls to all those who were removed                                                     Red, Y ellow, Black and White. East, South,
from their roots, to return to her and the                                                        West and North. Each direction carries many
original teachings. The Turtle represents our                                                     teachings within itself.
desire to reconnect the children of Turtle
Island.                                                                                           The People
                                                                                                  Represent the four stages of life; child,
The Eagle Feather                                                                                 adolescent, adult, elder.
                                                  “the Medicine Wheel
Carries within itself many powerful teachings.
It has meaning and a significant teaching to      teach us of the cycle                           The Metis Sash & Infinity Symbol
those children who were removed from their                                                        Reflects the diversity of Metis history
                                                  of life and how we,
families and placed into another way of life.                                                     and experience. It is a symbol of pride and
The brown and white colors reflect the            not just people, but                            identity for the Metis. The sideways figure
blending of cultures many Aboriginal children                                                     eight is a Metis emblem of identity that
                                                  all living life forms,
have experienced.                                                                                 depicts two cultures joined together forever.
                                                  are all interrelated,
                                                  interconnected and

                                                                                                     Fall/Winter 2002 • Indigenous Links
From the Editor                                                           Caught within that fear are those who were taken from our
                                                                          communities by no choice of their own and faced with that wall of
We, as Aboriginal people, were born into an era of relative               fear once they try to come back into the community. They are often
uncertainty. A time where change is inevitable whether it is accepted     met by adversity and government induced bureaucracy. All too often
or not. It is important for us as adults to remember the ways of our      band membership policy ignores traditional cultural practice and thus
ancestors and teach our children the values and morals associated         genocide is propelled.
with our proud culture. Though some are not as fortunate as others
in being raised in our native communities and immersed in culture         Though I myself am not an adoptee, my partner is. It is through him
daily, those who are should offer the teachings and lessons to all.       that I was fortunate enough to be invited into the Connecting With
                                                                          All My Relations group without prejudice. The founding members
If there is one thing I can say that is positive about living in the      exhibit aboriginal qualities that are true to our cultural identity -
urban community of Ottawa, it is that culture is shared with all who      accepting of others and sharing their knowledge. We are all different
seek to learn. Sometimes native people get stuck on holding their         in some way but it is through those differences that we learn and grow
culture so tightly that it is lost in dying grips. A common reality in    to accept each other for the unique part of aboriginality we are.
native communities is that no one wants to give up the precious
teachings or the land, fearing they will be taken again by non-natives.   Mariel Belanger, Editor

*Disclaimer                                                               As a volunteer organization with limited resources, Connecting
                                                                          With All My Relations is unable to conduct individual family
Connecting With All My Relations provides information to                  searches or to respond to requests for research services. The
Aboriginal adoptees and their families and supporters as part of its      information provided is to assist individuals with their research. We
vision “to regain the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual well-     welcome all comments and suggestions.
being of Aboriginal people who have been removed from their
families, communities and cultures” .                                     Connecting With All My Relations

 Submissions needed!
 We invite submissions of articles, poems, artwork, notices of
 events, support groups etc., relating to Aboriginal adoption and                               SHARING KNOWLEDGE OF ABORIGINAL ADOPTEES AND OTHERS PLACED IN CARE

 foster care issues. If you wish your submission to be returned to
 you, please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Although                               Established Winter 2001
 we welcome submissions, publication is not guaranteed. We are            Published quarterly a year by Connecting With All My Relations.
 a quarterly publication:
                                                                                     Editors: Mariel Belanger and Lesley Parlane
   Issue                                    Publication Deadline            Writers: Beverley McKiver, Elaine Endanawas, Mark Rutledge
                                                                                            Production: Mark Rutledge
   Spring (March 1st to May 31st)           Feb 1st
   Summer (June 1st to August 31st)         May1st
                                                                          Indigenous Links is the voice of Connecting With All My
   Fall (Sept.1st to Nov 31st.)             Aug 1st
                                                                          Relations, a non-profit organization with a mission that will
   Winter (Dec.1st to Feb.31st)             Nov 1st
                                                                          work towards the well-being of Aboriginal people, who have
                                                                          been adopted or placed in care.
 Submission deadline is one month prior to publication.
                                                                          All editorial content in Indigenous Links is copyright, and may
 For additional information please contact:
                                                                          not be reproduced in any manner without the express written
     Indigenous Links
                                                                          permission of the editor.
     c/o Connecting With All My Relations
     T (613) 747-7210,
                                                                          Indigenous Links welcomes, but cannot accept responsibility
                                                                          for, unsolicted submissions. Only those which include a self-
                                                                          addressed envelope with sufficient postage will be returned.
                      ADVERTISING                                         Letters to the editor are welcome, and can be sent to:
 The advertising deadline for the Winter 2002 issue of Indigenous
                                                                          ‘Letters to the Editor’, Indigenous Links
  Links is November 1st, 2002. Please call us at (613) 747-7210 for
                                                                          45-2067 Jasmine Crescent, Ottawa, Ontario, K1J 7W2,
 more information. Advertisments designed, set and produced by
                                                                          Telephone: (613) 747-7210, E-mail:
 Indigenous Links are the property of CWAMR and may not be
    used without the express written permission of CWAMR.

Indigenous Links • Fall/Winter 2002
For More Information
Please complete the form below and mail to this address:         Phone: (613)747-7210
Connecting with All My Relations                                 Email:
45-2067 Jasmine Crescent,                                        Website:
Ottawa, Ontario, K1J 7W2, CANADA

Name:                                                            The following applies to me:
                                                                   t Adoptee                           t Child in care
Address:                                                           t Birth parent                      t Birth relative
                                                                   t Other (please specify below):     t Adoptive/Foster parent
Tell us about yourself:

                                                                 I am interested in the following:
                                                                   t Repatriation                      t Aboriginal culture/history
                                                                   t Health                            t Human Rights
                                                                   t Volunteering                      t Membership
                                                                   t Other (please specify below):

                                                                 I would like to Volunteer:
                                                                   t Membership                        t Public Relations
                                                                   t Finance                           t Web-Portal
The following applies to me:                                       t Other (please specify below):
  t Inuit                      t Métis
  t First Nations              t Other (please specify below):

                                                                 I would like to be added to your mailing list:
                                                                   tYes                                t No
                                                                 All information will be held in the strictest of confidence.

                                                                                              Fall/Winter 2002 • Indigenous Links

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