Friday, July 31, 2009

Tamara Malcolm - Walking for the Past, Present, and Future Generations of Aboriginal Children



Media Updates
CTV Coverage (TV) - here

Winnipeg Free Press (Newspaper)- here

Tamara Malcolm of Winnipeg Manitoba is embarking upon a walk from Winnipeg Manitoba to Ottawa for THE PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE GENERATIONS OF ABORIGINAL CHILDREN IN CARE. Her Facebook Group says:

Why:
1. This walk is to support other Aboriginal mothers and children affected by child welfare system.


2. Purpose of the walk is to begin the healing process for Aboriginal families who have been affected by their children being put in care because it is felt that the current Aboriginal child welfare system is not working for our Aboriginal people in the urban areas or communities.


3. To honor & acknowledge all mothers who never saw their Aboriginal children again because of the “60's scoop” & give them a voice in this process.


4. To build bridges & open dialogue to address what needs to change in the current child welfare system for our Aboriginal children & families. This process may involve calling for a formal “follow up process” to the Manitoba Justice Inquiry pertaining to Aboriginal people & Child Welfare system, in order to:

5. Reaffirm the importance of our Aboriginal children's cultural identity while in care.

6. To reconnect & preserve the natural and spiritual bond with our Aboriginal mothers & children as it should be.

7. To honor Aboriginal children who have died while in care & acknowledging those who were adopted out to non aboriginal homes down in the U.S.A. & globally. This process (scoop of 60's) is seen as an assimilation attempt and should be addressed for those who are Surviviors and looking for repatriation, cultural & spiritual healing on many levels.

Where / When
August 1st, 2009 at 11am, our walk will begin at Arlington and Selkirk to the legislative grounds and then from there to Parliament Hill in Ottawa. On the day of our arrival at Parliament Hill, I would like to ask the people to show support by standing in front of the Legislative Buildings
across Canada.

Meegwetch!
Tamara Malcolm

Contact Info
Email: bea-tamara@hotmail.com
Name: Tamara Malcolm
Location: Winnipeg, MB
Facebook Group: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/group.php?gid=32235614384&ref=nf

Women to raise awareness, gather information about child and family re-unification issues

A 26-year-old woman Anishinabe (Ojibway) woman will be leading a walk from Winnipeg to Ottawa to raise awareness about issues relating to child and family services issues. The walk will begin Saturday in Winnipeg.

Tamara Malcolm, grew up in Winnipeg but has family connections at the Ebb and Flow and Sandy Bay First Nations. She has had experience with the family services system and is walking to gather support for other mothers and children who have also been adversely affected by the system.

She will be joined other participants who will either walk or ride in a vehicle supporting the walkers.

One of the participants the event is a Metis Elder, Melba Sanoffsky, who is 70. She had her children taken away from her decades ago as part of the horrific “sixties scoop” where the government routinely separated children from families so that they could be raised in non-Native environments, often in the United States.
Another participant will be Beverly Jones, of the Keeseekoowenin First Nation.
Along the way they will be collecting stories and information in other forms from people they meet with during their journey.

Malcolm says she has already received about 1,300 messages on her face book page from people interested in her journey. She starts her walk on Saturday (Aug. 1) at 11 a.m. at Arlington and Selkirk and will follow a route that takes her to the Manitoba legislature. She expects to be at the Legislature at 1 p.m.

She will also stay at the grounds of the Legislature as long as is necessary. Because of that she doesn’t have a definite schedule for arrival at or departure from the Legislature. “I will stand and listen as long as people want me to.”

Malcolm is a pow-wow dancer who practices traditional spirituality. She has undergone a lot of healing and wants to both encourage personal healing and raise public and political awareness about problems currently facing Aboriginal mothers and children.
Malcolm says a target date for arrival in Ottawa hasn’t been set, because the number and length of encounters along the way will determine how long the journey will take.
Information gained during the walk will be shared with the public as well as political people.

For information prior to 1 p.m. Saturday call SCO communications officer Lyndenn Behm at 918-1581. (The walkers do not have personal cell phone connections arranged yet).

Tamara’s message

Hello. My name is Tamara Malcolm. I am 26 years old. I am originally from Ebb & Flow First Nation, Treaty 2, but I live off reserve. I am a proud Ojibwe, doing what I do to get where I am going on my journey in life.

The purpose of my walk is to help begin the healing process for Aboriginal families who have been affected by their children being put in care. It is believed the current child welfare system is not working & there are more Aboriginal children in care, than there ever were children in Residential schools. So the system needs to change.

What inspired me to do this walk is that at 5 years of age I was told that I could not live with my family and I did not want to be away from the only thing I was born into and that was my "family". A couple of days after I started this whole thing about the walk, I met 2 people. Bev & Melba. Between the 3 of us we developed 7 guide lines to the walk.

Bev Jones, is an Adoptee, First Nation status Indian fostered & adopted into a non aboriginal middle class home, she was apprehended off Keeseekoowenin First Nation reserve, Treaty 2, as an infant. Her story is one of healing from losses of cultural identity due to adoption and has since repatriated back (3 yrs) to her First Nation community, living on the land she was apprehended off of over 50 years ago.

Melba Sanoffsky is a 70 yr.old Metis Elder who is also walking and can address the scoop of the 60's and has experience of her children being taken down to the USA and she never saw them for a very long time.

The 3 of us together represent the walk for "PAST, PRESENT & FUTURE ABORIGINAL CHILDREN IN CARE". It is an issue that needs to be addressed holistically because they are all part of the whole.

Megwetch







Here are the 7 guide lines used for the walk:

What

WALKING FOR THE PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE GENERATIONS OF ABORIGINAL CHILDREN IN CARE.

Why:

1. This walk is to support other Aboriginal mothers and children affected by child welfare system.

2. Purpose of the walk is to begin the healing process for Aboriginal families who have been affected by their children being put in care because it is felt that the current Aboriginal child welfare system is not working for our Aboriginal people in the urban areas or communities.

3. To honor & acknowledge all mothers who never saw their Aboriginal children again because of the “60's scoop” & give them a voice in this process.

4. To build bridges & open dialogue to address what needs to change in the current child welfare system for our Aboriginal children & families. This process may involve calling for a change to the follow up process with the Manitoba Justice Inquiry pertaining to Aboriginal people & Child Welfare system, in order to:

5. Reaffirm the importance of our Aboriginal children's cultural identity while in care.

6. To reconnect & preserve the natural and spiritual bond with our Aboriginal mothers & children as it should be.

7. To honor Aboriginal children who have died while in care & acknowledging those who were adopted out to non aboriginal homes down in the U.S.A. & globally. This process (scoop of 60's) is seen as an assimilation attempt and should be addressed for those who are Survivors and looking for dialogue to compensation, repatriation, cultural & spiritual healing on many levels.

On the day of our arrival at Parliament Hill, I, Tamara would like to ask the people to show support by standing in front of the Legislative Buildings across Canada.

Megwetch!

Tamara Malcolm, Bev Jones, Melba Sanoffsky

We anticipate that the walk from Arlington & Selkirk to Legislative Building will take about 1.5 hrs. We will have a Pipe Ceremony shortly after we arrive on the grounds

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