Stimulating and Resisting Transborder Indigenous Adoptions in North America in the 1970s

Chapter

Abstract

This chapter probes the underlying class, race, and colonial dynamics of transborder Indigenous adoption in North America in the late twentieth century. It focuses on the 1970s case of three Métis foster children in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, who had been living with their foster parents for eight years when provincial authorities removed them and placed them with a white adoptive couple in Michigan. These three children were among thousands of Indigenous Canadian children whom authorities scooped up in the 1960s and 1970s and placed in non-Indigenous homes both within Canada and over the border in the United States. This removal was different, however. It became very public and generated fierce resistance from the local Métis community, which led to an investigation by a provincial Ombudsman. The Ombudsman’s report provides a rare glimpse into the official reasoning behind Indigenous child removal. Saskatchewan Social Service administrators considered the Métis children’s foster family to be fit and loving but justified removal on the grounds that the children lacked “stimulation” and needed “permanency.” The chapter analyzes how these ill-defined concepts served as a code for unexamined class, racial, and colonial biases that enabled authorities to intervene in and undermine Indigenous families and communities.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Nebraska–Lincoln (UNL)LincolnUSA

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