As early as 1890 it has been documented that thousands of First Nations children were forcibly removed from their homes. Between the years of 1941 through 1978 when the Indian Child Welfare Act was passed we know that 25% of all First Nations children were removed from their homes and placed in orphanages and white foster homes, as well as adopted into white homes. These institutions and homes were often brutal which added to the trauma of early childhood separation. Many mothers and fathers of these lost or stolen children still grieve the loss of their children. These now adult children struggle with personal identity and a sense of belonging. The mental and emotional toll is evidenced in the high suicide rates, incarceration rates and depression of adult adoptees. Many search for their family ties but do not know where to begin, which adds to the pain of separation. The time has come to heal these wounds caused by forced assimilation by establishing their sense of belonging to a spiritually rich family.
I want to extend a special greeting to all adoptees and fostered individuals. And to all our birth parents and other relatives who spend the years we are away from them wondering, worrying about us always praying we will some day return home. We thank you for those prayers for it those prayers that has kept us here and brought us home. Our voices have been silent for many years. Now the time has come to tell this side of the story.