On October 16, 2007 my three oldest children were apprehended by Child and Family Services in Winnipeg.
1 am 34 years old. I am an Indigenous woman. And I have been fighting to get my children back for 10 years.
I currently live in Serpent River First Nation with my husband and our 7 year old daughter. My daughter has never been in care but for some reason my three boys continued to be. My oldest child has since become an adult and "aged out" of the system. My two younger boys remain in foster care and there is no need for them to be. I am a business owner (Bea Beads), a traditional person who practices my culture, I am clean and sober and dedicated to my family.
In 2007, at the time of the apprehension, I was in a violent relationship with my ex-partner. He was abusive to me and sadly as I came to find out, abused my son.
He was eventually charged with assault causing bodily harm in the case. And although he has been known to CFS as the perpetrator of the violence, and I immediately cut off contact with him when he hurt my child and have not seen or heard from him in 10 years, it is my boys and me who continue to pay the price. I have never and would never, ever hurt my children. My children were then, and still are, my whole life.
My story is a long one. I've documented it in full on @TamaraMStory . I've kept over 1,000 pages of documents related to my case. I have told everyone and anyone I could. Spoken to child advocates, spoken through legal aid, spoken to workers and agencies. I have tried every avenue only for my story to fall on deaf ears.
Something is broken in child welfare in Manitoba. Over 11,000 children are apprehended within the MB Child Welfare System in the province. 90% of those children are Indigenous.
Our communities are being robbed of our future generations. My children have been placed away from their culture, their languages, their families.
This campaign is to raise funds for a lawyer so I can try to get my children back through legal means and explore my options for a legal case against those responsible for the negligence in my, and my children's, case.
This campaign is not a defense fund of any kind and I have never been charged or arrested in my life (I write this for the benefit of the GoFundMe rules which prevent raising funds for legal defense of those facing charges).
Please help me bring my kids home. My oldest boy has already aged out of the system and my two other children have told advocates they want to come home repeatedly. Its been 10 years. Its been long enough. I just want my kids home and together.
Miigwetch / Hiy Hiy
(note on goal of $50,000 and my lawyer fees. I started this go fund me before contacting a lawyer. This was not my lawyers suggestion to ask for $50,000. I was anticipating at some point she may also need a Manitoba counterpart and she is working with a collegue in Manitoba now. I also know that if this case is appealed its a long and expensive process. Any funds raised over and above what I need will be donated to the next case like mine. And there will be others. Too many unfortunately.)
- Kathleen BlueSky
- Nicola Bennett
- Lauren Moton
- Kristin Whiteley
- Sparrow Preston
Serpent River, ON