Abstract

In Canada, it is estimated that 3 times as many Indigenous children are currently in the care of the state compared to when the residential schools’ populations were at their peak. It is imperative that action be taken. This article explores the continuities among residential schools, the Sixties Scoop, and child welfare in Canada today. In particular, we examine how colonial and neocolonial discourses operate through and justify these policies and practices. We propose nine policy recommendations, which aim to transform child welfare and support Indigenous families to care for their children. Although transformative policy change is unlikely within this neocolonial and neoliberal climate, the recent change in federal leadership has made it more possible to move these policy recommendations forward.

Acknowledgments

The authors thank Madeleine Dion Stout, Roberta Price, Jane Inyallie and other members of the Canadian Institutes for Health Research-funded team, “Addressing the consequences of violence and trauma: A health intervention for women in an Indigenous context” for informing this article’s analysis and particularly Jane Inyallie for her review of and helpful comments about an earlier draft of the paper. Development of this paper was supported in part by a fellowship with the above project and a Canadian Institutes for Health Research doctoral award held by the first author, and an operating grant from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research held by the second and third author.

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