Our Vision: A future where intergenerational trauma is conquered, rekindling kinship connections and preserving cultural identity.
Our Mission: To serve our agency’s purpose, meeting the distinct needs of First Nations children, youth, and families.
Our inherent and treaty rights empower us to oversee child and family services.
Governing Principles - OUR CHILDREN
Ownership: Embracing accountability for actions.
Understanding: Meeting present and future needs of our children.
Respect: Honoring children, culture, and traditions.
Caring: Prioritizing self-care to care for all.
Healthy: Nurturing social, emotional, spiritual, physical, and intellectual well-being.
Integrity: Cultivating integrity through consistent practice.
Love: Fostering self-love and extending it to others.
Determination: Relentlessly pursuing our goals.
Relationships: Forging robust connections within our Nations.
Empowerment: Enabling children for excellence.
Nurturing: Fostering growth in children, families, and communities.
“As Long as The Sun Shines, The Grass Grows, The Rivers Flow, and Until Such Time as Yidah Should Reverse”
The Intersecting History of Indigenous Child Adoption in Alberta: Tracing the Path of Cultural Disruption
Throughout history, the adoption of Indigenous children in Alberta has been a tragic tale intricately linked to child welfare, adoption practices, and the legacy of Residential Schools. This narrative includes pivotal events and legislations that have profoundly impacted our Nations, leaving an indelible mark on our cultural fabric.
One of the darkest chapters dates back to the early 20th century, when Alberta passed the "Sexual Sterilization Act" on March 21, 1928. Alberta stood alone in actively implementing the first eugenic sterilization law in Canada. With the intent of improving the gene pool and society’s overall well-being, involuntary sterilizations were conducted on individuals deemed to possess "undesirable" traits, preventing them from transmitting what was perceived as "evil."
An estimated 3,500 First Nation men and women fell victim to this deeply disturbing law, enduring an egregious violation of their bodily autonomy. These horrifying practices coincided with the ominous Project Paperclip, a Central Intelligence Agency program collaborating with ex-Nazi researchers. First Nation children from Canadian residential schools were used as involuntary test subjects in medical, biological warfare, and mind control experiments. Under agreements with the Catholic, Anglican, and United churches, these illegal tests persisted until the 1970s.
Between 1948 and 1969, offshoot programs of Project Paperclip expanded across hospitals in multiple provinces, including British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario. First Nation children, abducted from reserves and residential schools, were subjected to these experiments, all while Indian Affairs Canada, churches, and police officials kept this information concealed.
The Sixties Scoop furthered the Canadian government’s ongoing history of cultural genocide, as nearly 11,132 First Nation children were taken from their families by child welfare authorities. Placed in non-Indigenous homes across Canada, the United States, and beyond, these children were robbed of their cultural roots, linguistic heritage, and familial connections.
Even post-adoption, the challenges persist. The Alberta Child & Family Services established a Post Adoption Registry, housing records dating back to the 1920s. Over 85,000 adoptions or private guardianships have occurred in Alberta since then. Around 30,000 adoptees or their family members remain registered, yearning to reconnect with their roots.
Before 2013, adoption led to the removal of children from the Indian Registrar. This act stripped them of status numbers, inherent rights, and a presence on the Band List. Despite efforts to reunite adoptees upon reaching adulthood, the legacy of these practices is deeply entrenched.
The impact of this adoption history remains stark, a legacy of cultural genocide. Identity, language, family connections, and community ties have all been lost. As Canada continues its journey toward reconciliation, acknowledging and addressing this history is essential to healing the wounds inflicted on our communities and Nations
Given this historical background, it becomes a sacred duty for us, as First Nations, to reclaim guardianship over our children’s well-being and guide them back to our embrace. As we are on the path towards reconciliation we must confront and heal from this painful history, restoring the dignity and spirit of Treaty 8 First Nations.