The Millennium Scoop
What is the Millennium Scoop?
The Millennium Scoop refers to the current status of Status Aboriginal children in care. According to statistics, there are more than double the number of First Nation children in care now, than there were at the highest point of the 60's Scoop. There is no question that Native children dominate the child welfare system, as Native people make up 2% of the total population, however 10 to 20 percent of First Nation Children are in care. The major factor is that First Nation children are still separated from their family, their culture, due to the adoption and child welfare process.
Story of Jeremy Meawasige
Jeremy Meawasige was a 16 year old Mi'kmaq from the Picto Landing First Nation in Nova Scotia and suffered from several challenges such as Autism, cerebral palsy, hydrocephalus, and a tendency to hurt himself. His mother, after suffering 2 severe strokes, was unable to properly provide the care that Jeremy required due to his conditions.
Jeremy's Mother was relying on the available supports from the band, however funding was running out, and the Government was insisting Jeremy be placed in an institution to better assist the needs he faces. Jeremy's mother claims that they can take Jeremy away from her 'over her dead dead body.' With the Government attempting to bring Jeremy Meawasige, supporters claimed that this was similar to the 'Jordan' Principle. (A boy who died in the hospital while it was decided how his treatment would be paid for). Jeremy's mother is arguing that if Jeremy was living off-reserve, he would more entitled to supports and services. The type of support and services that would allow him to live at home. Given this, Maurine Beadle, mother of Jeremy Meawasige, brought the matter to court claiming discrimination for providing certain supports to youth off reserve and not youth on reserve. The Ottawa Government contended that it is not fair to compare the two.
Jeremy Meawasige, with his mother Maurine Beadle.
Jeremy was able to stay with his mother. Although the Millennium scoop is being caused by lack of resources, and funding, we cannot fail to address the social issues many First Nation Reserves are facing today. Several experts have claimed that family dysfunction is rooted to poverty, poor health, and the oppressive legacy of the Residential School system, and the 60's scoop, robbing Aboriginal families of their children.
Information & Photograph Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/first-nations-children-still-taken-from-parents-1.1065255