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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Murder charge laid in case of missing child

Last Updated Mar 14 2006 06:51 PM

Child welfare agencies in Manitoba are under scrutiny for losing track of a five-year-old girl believed to have been killed last summer.
Phoenix Victoria Sinclair had been missing for nine months, but it seems no one noticed or reported the case to authorities.
The alleged crime came to light last week when police received new information about the girl, who had been living on the Fisher River First Nation reserve, 150 kilometres north of Winnipeg.
Although the girl's body has not been located, RCMP Sgt. Steve Colwell said police were able to lay the charges through "an investigation that has been conducted in the past week."
Samantha Dawn Kematch, 24, has been charged with assault with a weapon, aggravated assault, forcible confinement and failing to provide the necessities of life. Her 43-year-old common-law husband, Karl Wesley McKay, is charged with second-degree murder. Both are awaiting bail hearings.
'She was a loving baby'
Phoenix was in and out of foster care during her short life, spending some time in the care of Kimberly Edwards, a friend of Samantha Kematch.
"She was a loving baby. She loved everybody," said Edwards. "Everybody loved her."
Near the end of 2003, the cases of many aboriginal children were transferred from Child and Family Services to three native-run agencies. Edwards says she was told Phoenix was one of those cases – however, it appears that never happened.
Eventually, Phoenix lived in the home of Edwards' ex-husband. Edwards says Kematch came to her ex-husband's house and took the little girl away one day in April 2005, saying she would return in a few hours. Edwards says that's the last time anyone saw the girl.
Court documents indicate police believe Phoenix was abused, confined and eventually murdered in June 2005.
"They failed her and they fail children every single day. How many babies have to die before politics are changed?" said Chief David Crate of the Fisher River First Nation.
"The question has to be posed to the provincial agency, the Winnipeg Child and Family [services agency], why the file was closed."
Three investigations launched into the case
Provincial officials can't say exactly what actually happened in the case, but say Phoenix was not lost in the transfer to the new native child agencies.
"The actual transfer of cases in devolution occurred between May and June of 2004, so this case was actually not one that had been transferred," said Family Services Minister Christine Melnick.
Melnick says three investigations have been launched into the case – by the chief medical examiner, the RCMP and Child and Family Services – in order to uncover the facts.
She would not speculate on when the investigations would be complete.
"I know that everyone is anxious for the answers – I'm anxious for the answers, too – but I also have to respect the processes that have been in place for many, many years in this province," Melnick said.
Conservative family services critic Mavis Taillieu says it ultimately doesn't matter which agency was responsible or who's to blame, saying the province failed a child in its care.
"This little girl, unfortunately, didn't just fall through the cracks. She fell into the abyss," Taillieu said.


Anonymous said...

Yet another case of a child killed by her mother.

Her mother should never have had custody in the first place.

Oh well that is the native cas for you. They run the show resulting in the death of innocent children. In BC another child is in the news--she was killed by her uncle. He was given custody even though he was a known abuser.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure why the previous poster says "yet another case of a child killed by her mother." The truth is, it's extremely rare for a mother to take her own child's life. According to Stats Can, there are consistently fewer than 30 incidents of this type each year involving either a mother or father. Although tragic, these numbers are almost non-existent considering Canada's population.

Anonymous said...

Last night, CTV had a news item regarding an Amber Alert issued for two parents that removed their children from CAS custody during a so-called "visitation." There is little doubt they are rescuing their children from real danger and should be applauded, instead of being hunted like criminals.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the third poster....these parent are rescuing their children...I KNOW I WOULD DO THE SAME!! The CAS and CCAS are the criminals!!

Anonymous said...

The aboriginals would be appalled, at the first post, Wake up and do some research,have we not taken enough from the natives. Even Barbara Coloroso.
has written about what has already happened to First Nations peoples, it was a genocide.

Coloroso was a nun, a mother and author, wrote Kids are worth it, and much more. read her latest book. The culture of meanness as she refers to it. How can we raise ethical children , with no ethical models in government. We can, but we must not be as naive as they and ask them to stop hoarding OUR children for profit.

Ontario ,CAS agencies are about to take the most OUR most valuable children, the vulnerable bull shit is a nice catchy line. no different then the best interest of the child, and better to error on the side of caution. They ingrain the catch phrases, so we all walk around mimicking them like idiots. They are not YOUR children Minister Chambers.
They belong to there families of origin. when you eat your smarties do you eat the red ones last. No different, then the best interest of the child. its all advertising, for kidnappings under the colour of law.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the last poster, in that many children should be returned, and that the CAS hunts them down. The case of the little girl who was killed by her mother is awful though. In that situation they screwed up again. We don't know if anyone else in the family could have taken her. If they could not have the little girl would have been better in a guardianship that was monitored, and long-term with visits with family members who wanted to see her. Sometimes the family cannot raise the child, but that should not mean that the child is farmed to infertile strangers, and robbed of their identity. As well the comment about natives is really horrible. The government has done nothing but abuse our aboriginal friends. It is shameful. From the many articles about dead and abused adopted children, and foster children from this site it is obvious that simply sending them to strangers is not the answer.

Child protection is needed in some cases, it seems that this was a real one where it was needed. That being said it is scary in that the CAS was not interested in helping real abuse victims in the past, nor are they today, they are interested in finding children for desperate strangers. If they really had a child protection mandate Jeffrey, and the little girl would not be dead. We do not need a witch hunt due to these tragedies - we need intelligent, responsible workers that can discern a real abuse case from fiction. God help anyone with children if Bill 210 passes, as it will be a relentless abuse of power where innocent babies are brokered like slaves, and those who are being really abused ignored. It is scary.

Anonymous said...

And it goes both ways, and it is a mess. For those who are critical of stories from the States, please do not think for a second that our system is any better - they are the same.

In regards to the child who was killed by her mother - it is a tragedy and no she should not have been in her custody. But many others are in custody of murderer and inept strangers.

Please read the following articles. In general all of these protection agencies are failing miserably and they all need to be overhauled immediately for the real sake of children.

Channel 2 News Online
December 17, 2002

Biological mother of Travis Adams lashes out

SALEM - The biological mother of the toddler who vanished this weekend and was later found dead in a nearby creek attacked the state's child protective system in a statement issued Monday.

Rebecca Adams, 25, of Keizer, said she is concerned about the safety of her four-year-old daughter, who is living with the same foster family.

"Am I going to lose another child to this family or to the system?" Adams, 25, said. "My children were supposed to be in a safe family in a safe home. This was never supposed to happen."

Child welfare officials allowed Adams to meet with her daughter Monday and break the news of two-year-old Travis' death, said Adams' cousin, Lisa Vedack.

Neither police nor social service professionals would release the foster parents' names Monday, citing confidentiality.

The child's foster father told police he turned away from the toddler for just a moment. When he turned back, Travis was gone, police said.

Travis entered the Salem foster home in September, said Patricia Feeny, a spokeswoman for the Oregon Department of Human Services. Neither the state nor Adams said why the children were removed from the home.

Feeny said the state-certified foster home has operated for five years and has sheltered 28 children during that time. "It's really considered to be a highly regarded, highly respected home with an excellent track record," she said. "It's used frequently. I think that would attest to its record as a good home."

Four more foster children remain at the home, including Travis' sister. There are no plans to move them, Feeny said.

Statewide, about 7,500 children are in the foster care system. Typically, children get taken into the system because they were abused or neglected.

County child-welfare officials were providing emotional support Monday at the foster home where Travis lived.

Feeny said workers at the local and state level were reeling from Travis' death.

"Just in their voices you can hear how devastated they are by this," she said. "It has a Doppler effect. It echoes through the rest of the agency."


Mother angry with foster care of son

Travis Adams was with foster parents who have a good track record.

Statesman Journal
December 17, 2002

Rebecca Adams, the biological mother of the boy who disappeared and later was found dead, lashed out at the state’s child protective system in a statement released Monday afternoon.

The Keizer resident said she is worried for the safety of her 4-year-old daughter, who is being kept by the same foster family.

“Am I going to lose another child to this family or to the system?” Adams, 25, said. “My children were supposed to be in a safe family in a safe home. This was never supposed to happen.”

Child-welfare officials allowed Adams to meet with her daughter Monday and to break the news of 2-year-old Travis’ death, said Adams’ cousin Lisa Vedack.

Neither police nor social service professionals would release the foster parents’ names Monday, citing confidentiality.

Travis entered the Salem foster home in September, said Patricia Feeny, a spokeswoman for the Oregon Department of Human Services. Neither the state nor Adams said why the children were removed from the home.

Feeny said the state-certified foster home has operated for five years and has sheltered 28 children during that time.

“It’s really considered to be a highly regarded, highly respected home with an excellent track record,” she said. “It’s used frequently. I think that would attest to its record as a good home.”

Four more foster children remain at the home, including Travis’ sister. There are no plans to move them, Feeny said.

Statewide, about 7,500 children are in the foster-care system. Typically, children get taken into the system because of abuse or neglect. Foster homes can shelter up to eight children at once.

Feeny said workers at the local and state level were reeling from Travis’ death. “Just in their voices you can hear how devastated they are by this,” she said.

Alan Gustafson can be reached at (503) 399-6709.

DIANE STEVENSON / Statesman Journal

Waln Creek in southeast Salem was where the body of 2-year-old Travis Adams was found Monday. Travis went missing Sunday evening.

Pictures, this is also on our website

Mother Angry, Grief Stricken Over Toddler's Death

Autopsy Planned For Tuesday

SALEM, Ore. -- An autopsy is scheduled Tuesday for a toddler whose body was discovered in a Salem creek.

Travis Adams disappeared Sunday evening while his foster family visited relatives on Valleywood Drive. His foster father said he looked away for just a moment, and the 2-year-old vanished.

Search dogs found his body Monday morning about a half-mile away in Waln Creek, which runs next to the home.

Police said the creek was swollen, and it's possible that Adams wandered toward the water, fell in and was swept downstream. They hope to determine exactly what happened to the boy.

Adam's birth mother is angry and stricken with grief.

"I don't know how they can just let a 2-year-old go. It's just not right," Rebecca Adams said.

Adams (pictured) lost custody of her son two months ago because of some family problems. Her 4-year-old daughter is also living with the same foster family.

The police investigation and autopsy results will be turned over to the district attorney.

Anonymous said...

The bitch that abused this child got away with it............ and Bill 210 and that whole bill only paves the way for the same types of things in Ontario.

A Ruling of Natural Death for a Foster Child
Save Article
Published: September 30, 2003
Stephanie Ramos, the severely disabled foster child whose 28-pound body was discarded in a trash bag by her foster mother in July, died of natural causes, the Queens district attorney, Richard A. Brown, said yesterday.

An autopsy found that the 8-year-old child died of ''a severely underdeveloped brain with lesions, conditions that existed from the time of her birth.'' As a result, the foster mother, Renee Johnson, will not be criminally charged with her death.

However, Ms. Johnson, who reported the child missing and then admitted that she put her dead body in a garbage bag and left it on a Manhattan sidewalk, will still face charges of improper disposal of a body and falsely reporting an incident.

Mr. Brown said his office would continue to investigate what happened in the days and weeks before Stephanie died. Police investigators who visited Ms. Johnson's home in Springfield Gardens, Queens, where she cared for two other disabled foster children, described it as filthy and bug infested.

Ms. Johnson's lawyer, Murray Singer, said she was relieved by the autopsy finding. ''We always said Ms. Johnson was not responsible for Stephanie's death, and we are pleased that the medical examiner confirmed this.'' He added that his client was being evaluated by psychiatrists to determine whether she was mentally competent at the time.

In part because Stephanie was so disabled -- she was blind, diabetic and retarded -- and in part because her body was not recovered until after it had been crushed by a garbage truck, investigators never really expected to be able to specify the cause of her death.

Yesterday, the district attorney suggested that the precariousness of her health affected his ability to press charges. ''Stephanie was catastrophically disabled from the time of her birth and had a life expectancy at best into her teenage years,'' he said in a written statement. ''Therefore, there does not exist legally sufficient evidence to sustain the filing of criminal charges.''

Both the district attorney and the Administration for Children's Services, the city agency charged with protecting foster children, are continuing to examine the quality of care Stephanie received from her foster mother and from the Association to Benefit Children, the nonprofit agency that contracted with the city.

The police had described Ms. Johnson's home as covered with bags of clothing and clumps of hair. They also said Stephanie's feeding tube was caked with grime.

Susan Brune, a former federal prosecutor retained by the Association to Benefit Children to lead an in-house inquiry, said the organization was confident that the city investigation would confirm its finding ''that Stephanie Ramos received outstanding care throughout her life.''

Anonymous said...

Deaths of young people in Ontario institutions

Source: June 20, 2003 06:14 AM The Toronto Star

Lived tragic lives, died tragic deaths
Five young people victims of system
They could have been saved: Report


One teen died after a worker charged with her care sat on her back. Another lost his life due to a lack of proper medical treatment. And a third hanged herself while in a detention centre — one of several cries for help during her young life.

These troubled, sick children are among the six young people who died in Ontario-run institutions since 1996. A report released this week by Defence for Children International charges they would still be alive had the province not severely restricted the powers of the Office of Child and Family Service Advocacy.

Yesterday in the Legislature, Liberal Leader Dalton McGuinty attacked the government's record, asking, "Why have you failed to protect children in care in the province of Ontario?" Brenda Elliott, the minister of community, family and children's services, replied that the Conservatives have enhanced child protection and responded to coroners' inquests calling for more powers for those overseeing children in care.

Inquests into five of the six deaths issued a total of 298 recommendations. The following are snapshots of those five children whose lives and deaths became part of the public record.

In 1996, James Lonnee became the first young offender to die in an Ontario jail.

According to a coroner's report, Lonnee "got into trouble with the law at an early age" and spent much of his youth in secure-custody facilities. He moved between 13 different residential and detention centres between 1995 and 1996 alone.

In early September, 1996, Lonnee, described as highly impulsive, restless and immature for his age, was transferred from the Brookside Youth Centre in Cobourg to the Wellington Detention Centre in Guelph.

While waiting to appear in court, the 16-year-old was placed in a cell, where he was severely beaten by his cellmate.

A nurse discovered Lonnee after she peered through the cell's food slot and saw him lying on the floor, bleeding from the top of his nose and his mouth. He was taken to hospital in Guelph and later transferred to Hamilton General Hospital, where he succumbed to a head injury on Sept. 7.

Among 120 recommendations, a coroner's jury called for the abolition of segregation cells for young offenders.

An inquest found that Stephanie Jobin died from severe brain damage shortly after a staff worker at a Brampton group home sat on her back with a beanbag chair for 20 minutes.

The 13-year-old autistic girl stopped breathing while two female workers were restraining her on June 17, 1998. The second employee held the teen's legs while helping force her to lie face down on the living room floor of Digs for Kids on Vodden St.

Three days later, Stephanie was pronounced dead.

In the months leading up to her death, workers were increasingly forced to restrain Stephanie for biting, head butting and pulling out the hair of her caregivers. She was also pulling out her own hair and slamming her own head against the wall.

The jury at an inquest into her death last December heard Stephanie was placed in the group home and supervised by $10-an-hour caregivers when she should have been at a specialized-care facility with access to health-care professionals. Only one such facility exists in Ontario, the jury was told, and it had no room for Stephanie, a ward of the Peel Children's Aid Society.

Less than one year after Stephanie's death, 13-year-old William Edgar, a ward of the Toronto Children's Aid Society, died after being restrained by a staff member at a group home east of Peterborough in a similar incident.

A child prone to "uncontrollable acts of rage," his outbursts of impulsive, aggressive and destructive behaviour escalated when he learned of his birth father's sudden death in 1996.

After bouncing in and out of foster homes and care facilities in the Toronto area, William was placed at the Keene Residence of the Cavan Youth Services outside of Peterborough in 1997. There, he was frequently restrained by staff members working to calm his destructive behaviour.

On March 29, 1999, when he began to swear and stomp his feet, he was restrained by a 250-pound worker, who held him face down on the floor, according to an inquest into his death.

William died later that night.

The inquest jury called for the province to outlaw the face-down restraint method.

On the day Joshua Durnford, 18, died, the nurse assigned to check his condition at Maplehurst Detention Centre in Milton didn't even open his cell.

An inquest into the Feb. 15, 2000, death of the teen, who had been under the care of the children's aid society since the age of 10, revealed his life could have been saved had he been given proper medical treatment.

A diagnosed "homosexual pedophiliac," Durnford lived in 16 different residential and custodial facilities while growing up. Following several assaults in various group homes, he was sent to Maplehurst, where his condition slowly deteriorated.

In the four days leading up to his death, Durnford complained to staff members of headaches and had difficulty speaking. He had problems dressing himself, was sweating profusely and was found on Feb. 14 lying face down on his mattress, shaking uncontrollably. Staff noted him to be "weak and sweaty" with failing motor skills and slurred speech.

The inquest jury heard that on the morning of his death, a nurse doing medication rounds was asked to see the teen, who could no longer stand. The nurse on duty looked through the door hatch but did not enter the cell.

At 10 a.m., Durnford was transferred to Milton Hospital after Maplehurst staff found him unresponsive, lying in a pool of urine on his mattress. He was pronounced dead at 12:02 p.m.

Durnford, who had a history of "extreme behaviour and interpersonal disturbances," according to a coroner's report, died of neuroleptic malignant syndrome, a side effect of two neuroleptic medications used to treat psychotic illnesses. Staff at Maplehurst failed to review the side effects of the medications or take his temperature, the inquest found.

A teenaged girl who battled depression and bounced from foster home to youth detention centre had her first encounter with the Toronto Children's Aid Society after a suicide attempt in February, 2001.

Suffering from issues of abandonment and isolation, the girl was placed in a Brampton foster home after spending two weeks in the adolescent psychiatric unit at the Hospital for Sick Children.

Following an assault charge for an incident with another child at the foster home, her behaviour declined steadily. She began skipping school and eventually ran away from her foster home. In late June, 2001, she was placed at MacMillan Youth Centre, a detention facility in Milton — the eventual site of her death.

The teen, who had made two previous attempts on her life, was sent to her room for misbehaviour three days after arriving at MacMillan. She constructed a noose from curtains hanging on her bedroom window and hanged herself, an inquest into her death determined. She was pronounced brain-dead on July 3.

She was only 14.

Jurors at the inquest were told no one at MacMillan was informed that the girl was a suicide risk.

At the end of the five-week hearing, jurors made 32 recommendations, including better training for those who work with children.

With files from Caroline Mallan

Anonymous said...

Child Advocate's office has suffered under Tories (Ontario)

Saturday, June 21, 2003 - Globe and Mail Page A21

This is the context: There were no known questionable deaths of children in the care of the Ontario government in the 18 years before the Progressive Conservatives came to office, but there have been seven since then.

There are some 23,000 children in group homes, foster homes, mental-health centres and young-offender institutions for whom the government is, in effect, the parent. The sad reality for these kids is that their parenting seems to leave a lot to be desired.

The controversy about how well Ontario's vulnerable children are being served is played out through Child Advocate Judy Finlay, the person responsible under law for ensuring that government treats its charges fairly. Ms. Finlay has held her post for 13 years, and has enjoyed good relations with a series of supervising ministers.

However, things began to sour three years ago under John Baird, and her relationship with the current Children's Services Minister, Brenda Elliott, is severely strained. Surprisingly, the minister and the senior public servant have never met. Worse, Ms. Finlay has hit a brick wall in such routine matters as getting permission to publish an annual report, to establish a Web site, or even to print the posters and brochures that the law requires be available to children in provincial facilities.

The Child Advocate's $1-million budget has remained static even as her caseload has doubled. There are just 11 advocates to deal with 4,000 cases of questionable treatment every year, a staffing level that ranks last in the eight provinces with a child-advocacy office.

"Ontario has gone from first to dead last, and dead last by such a significant margin it's both dangerous and very embarrassing," said Matthew Geigen-Miller, author of a critical report issued this week by Defence for Children International.

Ms. Finlay will admit only that there is a "dynamic tension" between the ministry and her office, but critics believe that Ms. Elliott is trying to silence her.

"The only conclusion that you can draw is that in some way the minister responsible is impeding the Child Advocate's access to children," said Suzan ctFraser, a Toronto lawyer who participated in the coroner's inquest into the death of Stephanie Jobin.

The autistic girl was 13 when she suffered a fatal heart attack in 1998 while being restrained in a Brampton group home. The jury looking into the incident offered 30 recommendations to improve Ontario's care. It also took the unprecedented step of criticizing the government for failing to act on recommendations of inquests into earlier questionable deaths of children in provincial care.

The issue of posters and brochures is key. For the past three years, Ms. Finlay has been denied the authority to reprint material, which means that many children may not know how to reach her office if they feel they are being mistreated.

Ms. Elliott says she is working on the issue, but she doesn't seem to be moving very quickly. She argues that staff brief children on their rights when they enter an institution, but Liberal critic Leona Dombrowsky says this is inadequate.

"If you're beaten by people who care for you, are you going to go to them to ask for the number of the advocacy office?" she said.

The minister says it's "nonsense" that she is somehow trying to circumscribe the power of the Child Advocate. She says the death of children in the government's care is a "complex" issue but that her ministry uses each one to identify how it can improve its performance.

She said in the legislature this week that 52 of 54 recommendations of one coroner's jury were undertaken but later could not identify the inquest or the specific findings.

The Defence for Children report argues that Ms. Finlay should be given more staff and other resources. It also suggests that the Child Advocate's office be removed from the Children's Service Ministry and be made an independent officer of the legislature like the Auditor and the Ombudsman.

Children are dying.

It would be the smart thing to do.

Anonymous said...

Heart & Soul

Making the connection with Aboriginal culture
Ken Kilpatrick

When Dr. Cornelia Wieman was an infant living on the Little Grand Rapids Reserve in northern Manitoba, the local Children's Aid Society came to her home and removed her from her family.

After being made a ward of the Crown, she was placed in various foster homes until a Dutch couple in Thunder Bay, Ont., adopted her. They were good parents and looked after her well, but even though the word "Aboriginal" never came up in her new home, Wieman knew in her heart that she came from a different culture.

"Being an adopted child, I grew up thinking it doesn't really matter where I'm from," she says. "I'm just who I am." She changed her mind as she got older and started reading about her culture. "I had the definite sense that I wasn't learning new material but I was taking on material that I already knew somehow but hadn't really connected with."

As Wieman read and learned, she began to get a sense of who she was and to feel more complete. Then, while attending medical school at McMaster University, Wieman received significant mentoring from Aboriginal doctors and began thinking about where she could do the most good. "As I went through my medical training, I realized that probably my greatest skills were not so much doing procedures but sitting and talking with people and listening to their stories," she says.

So she began thinking about practising psychiatry. At the same time, she was also coming to the realization that she should return to her original culture to practise. And that is the way Wieman became Canada's only practising Aboriginal woman psychiatrist. Today she works at St. Joseph's Hospital in Hamilton as a psychiatric emergency consultant and spends at least 2 days a week at a community mental health clinic on the Six Nations Reserve, southeast of Hamilton.

Recently she was appointed Native Students Health Sciences Coordinator at McMaster, a position funded through the Ontario government's Aboriginal Education and Training Strategy. As a McMaster graduate (1993) and Six Nations psychiatrist, the appointment made perfect sense.

Wieman is currently developing partnerships with Aboriginal communities and attempting to enhance university opportunities in the health sciences area for Aboriginal youth. She believes these young people may not be able to imagine themselves in the field because they haven't had much exposure to physicians. They also may feel intimidated at the thought of leaving their communities — and culture — for the larger urban centres where doctors and other health professionals are trained.

Wieman knows how they feel. Her own experience of being taken from her family has also given her a unique insight in her clinical work. "In the 1960s, child-protection agencies took a lot of Aboriginal children out of their homes, and they were adopted into non-native families. That's seen in some circles as equally disruptive as the residential-school experience. In the 1960s, in Manitoba, something like a third of Aboriginal children were taken into care. That's part of the group that I'm from."

Wieman thinks Canada's old residential-school system is one of the major causes of emotional damage she sees among Aboriginal patients. "People are starting to talk about their experience and the damage that was caused. The individuals who attended these schools suffered, but the aftermath of these experiences is also showing up in the generations that followed."

She says a growing number of patients at the Six Nations clinic are now talking about residential schools and coming forward to seek help. She sees both survivors — ranging in age from 40 to elderly — and their family members. "Because of the abusive experiences they may have suffered in the residential schools and from being taken away from their community and forced to live under certain conditions, there seems to be a lot of disruption in family dynamics."

Wieman is already receiving recognition for her work. She has been awarded several academic and research scholarships, and in 1997 she was elected chair of the Native Mental Health Section of the Canadian Psychiatric Association.

Sometimes the demands on her time seem endless — she is continually being asked to speak across Canada — but Wieman tries hard to preserve her personal life. "I want to be doing this work for a long time so I try to take care of myself," she says.

Two years ago, Wieman and her husband moved to the Six Nations area and now live 10 minutes from the reserve. Both consider it their hometown. "It would be extremely rewarding to see the numbers of Aboriginal youth choosing the health professions go up over a number of years," she says. "And I hope one of them becomes a psychiatrist to take over from me when I retire." —

Anonymous said...

Eye - January 13, 2000
Stolen nation
For more than 20 years, Canada took native children from their homes and placed them with white families. Now a lost generation want its history back
When former Indian Affairs Minister Jane Stewart made her historic apology to the aboriginal peoples of Canada on Jan. 8, 1998, she singled out native residential schools as the most reprehensible example of Canada's degrading and paternalistic Indian policies. Designed to assimilate native children into English ways and strip them of their language and culture, the schools also became notorious for sickening physical and sexual abuse.

Though none would disagree with Stewart's condemnation of residential schools, which were phased out in the 1960s, some wondered why she didn't also apologize for the equally assimilationist -- if less well-known -- strategy that followed immediately in the schools' wake: the widespread adoption of aboriginal children out to non-native families in the '60s, '70s and early '80s.

Commonly referred to as the Sixties Scoop, the practice of removing large numbers of aboriginal children from their families and giving them over to white middle-class parents was discontinued in the mid-'80s, after Ontario chiefs passed resolutions against it and a Manitoba judicial inquiry harshly condemned it.

The passage of the Child and Family Services Act of 1984 ensured that native adoptees in Ontario would be placed within their extended family, with another aboriginal family or with a non-native family that promised to respect and nurture the child's cultural heritage. Aboriginal peoples also began to play a much greater role in the child welfare agencies that served them, and the numbers of native adoptees in general began to decline as more stayed with their birth parents.

However, the act also dictated that old birth records remain sealed, unless both the birth parent and the child asked for them. This has helped keep the period in darkness and frustrated attempts by adoptees to learn about their roots. Those who now feel they were victimized by the adoption process have an extremely difficult time finding out who they are.

Donna Marchand, a 44-year-old Toronto lawyer, is launching a court challenge against the Harris government to strike down the sealed birth records provisions of the Child and Family Services Act.

An adopted child herself, she recalls being terrorized into denying her origin: "When I was about three-and-a-half, it started coming to my attention that I was adopted. My cousins told me. I was only three years old, but I was aware that I was different. I just didn't fit in. I was getting called a little bastard. And I asked my adopted mother what adoption meant. She said, 'Don't ever say that again -- if your father hears you he'll kill you.' He'd been sitting there in his drunken stupor. He'd go on binges for days.

"I've lived my whole life being native because I was called a squaw. I don't look white enough. And I was in working-class, real WASP, downtown Toronto. I got called a squaw and Donna Wanna, and I got tied to my share of trees and got my hair hacked off."

Marchand's constitutional challenge involves Section 7 and Section 15 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, according to her lawyer, Jennifer Scott. "Section 7 is the right to life, liberty and security of person," says Scott. "And Section 15 is the equality rights. The 15 provisions are that adoptees are sort of a group that is protected. But different communities of adoptees are particularly affected, and it has a tremendous impact on communities like native people -- where they don't know who their mom and dad are, but they're assimilated into families that don't even know their culture, their history, their background. It goes to who they are."

Just as the closing of the residential schools did not mean their legacy of suffering instantly vanished, so the end of the Sixties Scoop did not mean that all the native adoptees who were farmed out to abusive or alienating non-native families suddenly found themselves with a clear-cut identity or a secure place in society.

Indeed, many still found themselves not only "torn between two worlds," but literally unsure if they were native at all, and not French or Italian as their adoptive parents claimed. Their birth records were sealed and often amended to include the names of to include the names of the adoptive, rather than biological, parents. Moreover, their adoption records were in many cases inaccurate, incomplete, falsified or simply missing. As a result, many native adoptees who did try to locate their birth parents or confirm their native status wasted literally decades on failed searches or frustrating battles with Children's Aid authorities or Indian Affairs officials.

Suzanne Bezuk, a spokesperson for the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services, says ""non-identifying information" can be made available to adult adoptees without their birth parents' consent.

"And for aboriginal peoples in particular, in the case of native clients, the name of the band and reservation can be provided."

However, aboriginal status and band names were seldom recorded on the original birth and adoption records in the '60s and '70s. So even this "non-identifying information" is rarely available.

Marchand cannot even be sure whether her mother was in fact native. "All I know is, it's very typical for native women, and my Uncle Frank says we're native. And my Aunt June looks native. Me and my two sisters, we look real native. But my mother, she internalized the shame of being a native woman. Look what she put down [on the adoption record]: 'Ethnicity not stated.' It's a shame. A lot of native women don't say, because they were going to lose their babies, and they wanted them to be adopted by good people, and good people weren't going to adopt 'little bastard squaws.' "

Even now, researchers trying to determine exactly how many aboriginal children were removed from their families during the Scoop say the task is all but impossible because adoption records from the '60s and '70s rarely indicated aboriginal status (as they are now required to).

Those records which are complete, however, suggest the adoption of native children by non-native families was pervasive, at least in Northern Ontario and Manitoba. In her March, 1999 report, "Our Way Home: A Report to the Aboriginal Healing and Wellness Strategy on the Repatriation of Aboriginal People Removed by the Child Welfare System," author Janet Budgell notes that in the Kenora region in 1981, "a staggering 85 per cent of the children in care were First Nations children, although First Nations people made up only 25 per cent of the population. The number of First Nations children adopted by non-First Nations parents increased fivefold from the early 1960s to the late 1970s. Non-First Nations families accounted for 78 per cent of the adoptions of First Nations children."

Similarly, "One Manitoba community of 800 people lost 150 children to adoption between 1966-1980," reports Budgell, who prepared the report in conjunction with Native Child and Family Services of Toronto.

Though it is rarely possible to determine precise numbers, the practice of native adoption was widespread enough to be denounced as "cultural genocide" by Edwin C. Kimelman, the presiding judge at the 1985 Manitoba inquiry.

Many native adoptees suffered from not only geographical displacement and cultural confusion but also emotional emptiness, violence, physical and sexual abuse, and drug or alcohol abuse.

"My brother was adopted at four years old," recalls one of the birth relatives of native adoptees interviewed for "Our Way Home." "His adoptive parents divorced when he was 12 and they gave him back to the agency like returning merchandise. His life after that was a living hell of abuse, violence and alcoholism. My brother hanged himself at 20 years old."

Joanne Dallaire is a native adoptee who conducts healing sessions for adoptees at the Anishnawbe Health Centre in Toronto. She too was told by her adoptive family that she wasn't native. "I myself was raised by a non-native, and my whole history was denied. Like in school, I was teased. You know how kids can be rather cruel with each other, and I was called a squaw and stuff like that, and when I'd come home, I'd be like crying and stuff, and they'd say, 'You're not Indian, you're French. So you make sure you tell them you're French.' It was years and years of misinformation."

Dallaire's attempts to find her birth mother or at least learn the truth of her native status began early. "The first time I started searching was when I was 15, so that was 1966. But it wasn't until I was an adult and on my own that I really began to search. I didn't have any proof, either, until 1998. Anishnawbe [native] people would come up to me and say, 'Oh, so you're Anishnawbe.' And I'd say, 'No, no, I'm French.' And I remember one man said to me -- I remember profoundly -- he looked at me and he said, 'Someone's lying to you. You're Anishnawbe.'

"I remember when I got the phone call from the social services department. One of my first questions was: 'Is there native in my background?' So my mother wanted to know how I'd feel about it if I was, and I said, 'Very pleased,' because my whole spirituality and stuff was drawn to native culture. So I've come to find out that I am [First Nations] -- to what degree, I don't know, because my mother is still very evasive about my father. But at least I know part of my heritage is Cree -- James Bay Cree."

Donna Marchand's own search for her birth mother took 16 years through the Ministry of Community and Social Services and the Adoption Disclosure Record. When government officials finally contacted her in the spring of 1999, they said her mother had died 26 years earlier.

"It's a big area that most people never even thought of," says Dallaire, "because it goes so quietly and privately. It's not as out there as the residential schools. And because everything's secret, you can literally throw your hands in the air and go, 'Well?' You quickly run up against one wall and then another, so it takes perseverance, like with Donna having to fight and fight again to get what she wants. Most people get battle-weary and never win."

According to the UN Declaration of Indigenous Rights, Justice Kimelman's description of the Sixties Scoop as cultural genocide is accurate. It reads: "Indigenous peoples have the collective right to live in freedom, peace and security as distinct people with guarantees against genocide or any other act of violence, including the removal of indigenous children from their families and communities under any pretext."

So why was the wholesale removal of aboriginal children not considered a crime, or even a wrong, that the Minister of Indian Affairs felt obliged to redress along with the residential school system?

The answer isn't that complicated, says Kenn Richard, director of Native Child and Family Services of Toronto and the man who commissioned the "Our Way Home" report. "British colonialism has a certain process and formula, and it's been applied around the world with different populations, often indigenous populations, in different countries that they choose to colonize," says Richard. "And that is to make people into good little Englishmen. Because the best ally you have is someone just like you. One of the ones you hear most about is obviously the residential schools, and residential schools have gotten considerable media attention over the past decade or so. And so it should, because it had a dramatic impact that we're still feeling today. But child welfare to a large extent picked up where residential schools left off.

"The lesser-known story is the child welfare story and its assimilationist program. And you have to remember that none of this was written down as policy: 'We'll assimilate aboriginal kids openly through the residential schools. And after we close the residential schools we'll quietly pick it up with child welfare.' It was never written down. But it was an organic process, part of the colonial process in general."

Anonymous said...

For anyone that wants to "screw" with native Canadians please read this article. The government and the CAS already did them in. SUPPORT THEM FOR GOD SAKE.

"She Is Hostile to Our Ways": First Nations Girls Sentenced to the Ontario Training School for Girls, 1933–1960


When industrial schools were initially proposed in late nineteenth-century Canada, they were perceived to be a common solution for the neglected and delinquent working-class boy of the urban slums and for the Aboriginal boy in need of similar education, discipline, and moral and vocational training.1 This undertaking briefly encapsulated the twinned aims of Canada's nation-building project: to civilize and acculturate both the poor and the colonized to middle-class, Western, white and Anglo norms. As John Comaroff and Jean Comaroff remark of nineteenth-century British imperialism, the taming of the "uncivilised and immoral" indigenous African and British slum dweller were overlapping projects, with the "primitive and the pauper" seen as "one in spirit. . . . the sacred task of the colonizing mission was to reconstruct the home lives of both" by inculcating in their daily lives the bourgeois values of "modern domesticity."2 1
While granting the historical specificity of various reform and colonial projects, this designation aptly captures the spirit of twentieth-century Canadian efforts such as industrial and residential schools, domestic science and sexual purity training for working-class and Native girls, settlement house and missionary proselytizing of the immigrant and Aboriginal.3 In the case of both the working-class and Native peoples, the state, voluntarist reformers, and the informal regulatory web of family, the church, and schools all played an important role in these attempts to "manage the marginal."4 Yet, these nation-building projects also diverged, their agendas, means and outcome shaped by different social relations and politics of class, race, and colonialism. While unequal power relations characterized both endeavors, the dispossession of Native peoples from their lands, their resulting social dislocation, and the political control expended by the federal Indian Act, as well as the denigrations of racism, also set the colonial project of assimilation apart. 2
This article explores the sentencing and incarceration of Aboriginal girls sent to the Ontario Training School for Girls (OTSG), a reform school created primarily to resocialize neglected and delinquent working-class girls perceived to be on the path to adult criminality. Native youth, on the other hand, were to be assimilated through residential schools, long associated with the colonial project of replacing the language, culture, and work skills of reserve children with "superior" Western and white values. Thus, the overall numbers of First Nations girls--both Aboriginal and Métis--in OTSG was small, but their increasing percentage of the school population after the late 1940s was very significant, mirroring the growing over-incarceration of Native peoples in post–World War II Canada, a trend that escalated even further in subsequent decades. It also exposed the state's increasingly interventionist approach to child welfare in Native communities, which resulted in more and more removals of Native children from their families, creating further conflicts--such as the destructive "sixties scoops"--still with us today.5 3
The diagnosis and treatment of Native girls' conflicts with the law often directly overlapped with those accorded to non-Native girls, exhibiting similar disparagement of supposed cultural impoverishment and parallel fears of sexual promiscuity. However, they also revealed the increased insertion of "race" as a category into expert discussions of Canadian delinquency, particularly ethnocentric stereotypes of an unreachable Native cultural persona. Indeed, racialized constructions of, and explanations for, delinquency remain embedded in our criminal justice system. Native youth are often portrayed today in the mainstream media as "unreachable," perhaps unsalvageable victims of cultural impoverishment. "Race" also works ideologically as racism in this regard, for such reified, culturalist explanation for alienation, dispossession, and crime sidestep more basic questions of power relations--especially the inequalities created by colonialism.6 4
It is tempting, especially given the recent writing on racism and colonialism, to attribute the increased sentencing of Native girls to OTSG in the mid-twentieth century to a political hierarchy of oppression in which class was replaced by race as the focus of legal regulation.7 But the records for OTSG offer a more complex story. Although I focus on First Nations girls in this article, my general purpose is to understand the ways in which the legal regulation of Native and non-Native girls overlapped and differed, the interlocking "simultaneity" of race, class, and gender oppression.8 Influenced by writings of feminist critical legal theorists who have argued for an "intersectional" approach to class, gender, and race,9 this article tries to probe the way in which way in which gender and class oppression, already well entrenched in the juvenile justice system, interacted with the social construction of race and patterns of colonialism to create distinct, and sometimes destructive, experiences for First Nations girls sentenced to OTSG. 5

Defining Aboriginal Juvenile "Delinquency"

The Ontario Training School for Girls was established in 1933 as the first provincial (secular) state-run reform school for incorrigible and delinquent girls, who were sentenced primarily under the federal Juvenile Delinquents Act (JDA, 1908) and the provincial Training School Act (TSA, 1931, 1939). Like other juvenile justice regimes, the Ontario one defined the offense of delinquency with great latitude. The JDA forbade infractions of the federal criminal code and municipal by-laws but also defined a delinquent as one "liable by reason of any act, to be committed to an industrial school," or, in an amendment targeted specifically at girls, one guilty of "sexual immorality or any similar form of vice." Similarly, the TSA laid out vaguely defined status offenses such as "incorrigibility and unmanageability."10 Though it was premised on a rhetoric of treatment, not carceral punishment, the JDA nonetheless resulted in intense surveillance of many working-class and poor children and their families, though some parents welcomed the use of the law as a means of imposing family discipline upon sexually wayward daughters. Girls who fell through the cracks of probation and were incarcerated in OTSG were accused primarily of incorrigibility, theft, truancy and sexual promiscuity, with incorrigibility often connoting a package of offenses: truancy, running away, and again, sexual promiscuity/endangerment. Inmates, as young as eleven, but usually fourteen or fifteen on arrival, were offered a "cure" in the school of education and vocational training (for domestic and working-class labor), as well as the inculcation of sexual purity, for twelve to eighteen months in closed custody. This was followed by placements, as fostered or boarded-out students, or far more often, as early wage earners, until they finally escaped the scrutiny of the institution at eighteen.11 6
Admittedly, drawing on training school files, federal and provincial government records, and the reform, social science, and medical discourses concerning female delinquency and Indian welfare at this time is a precarious way of understanding Native girls in conflict with the law.12 OTSG records, for instance, offer sentencing reports, court transcripts, educational, medical, and social work commentaries on the girls, as well as the girls' and families' recorded responses, but these are highly mediated sources, articulated through the eyes of the regulators and authority makers. However, I concur with historians who argue that such sources can be assessed, with a critical eye to their limitations, and read "against the grain,"13 and also with historians who support the endeavor of at least attempting to write across the boundaries of our own identity and experience.14 Thus, I assume the more optimistic view that we might utilize such sources to uncover girls' responses to their criminalization, disclosing contention and resistance, as well as regulation and control, in the history of the criminal justice system. 7
Other works on the history of female delinquency in North America have made similar claims; these have often drawn implicitly on feminist and materialist frameworks to uncover the structures of class, race, and gender inequality underpinning the law, though they do not ignore the possibilities of human agency in using or contesting the law.15 More recently, legal historians have sharpened our understanding of the way in which the race is constituted through the law, sanctioning discrimination, exclusion, and segregation through public policy, statute law, and judicial interpretation.16 As a set of ideas and practices, argues Ian Haney Lopez, the law interacted historically with prevailing knowledges about race. Through penalties and rewards, ideological systems, and the actions and contests of legal actors, it constructed interpretations of race premised firmly on white superiority.17 The hierarchy of race was also entwined with class, gender, and sexuality,18 and it provided a crucial basis for colonial dispossession of Native peoples and the imposition of western legal codes upon the North American First Nations.19 As anticolonialist writing has argued, however, the results were never complete cultural and legal subordination of Native peoples; rather, First Nations customary law evolved in tandem with colonialism, drawing on Native custom and culture, but also influenced by western law and the stresses of colonialism.20 By the time these girls were sent to OTSG, the destructive impact of colonialism had eaten away significantly at the material and cultural equilibrium in many Ontario First Nations--though this was not an inexorable or irreversible process, as the current renaissance in recovering First Nations customary law indicates.21 8
As critical race theorists argue, the very concept of "race" is historically and socially constructed. Nowhere was this more transparent than in the state's changing designations of the race of OTSG inmates, First coded as "race," later "nationality."22 Even accounting for the state's changing categories, the rapid increase in Native girls in the post–World War II period is clear. In the 1930s, just after the school opened, one or two (sometimes no) Native girls were admitted every year; this climbed to a high of fourteen girls in 1958, or 9 percent of the admissions, at a time when Native peoples were officially less than 1 percent of the province's population.23 A similar pattern existed at St Mary's, the Catholic Training School for Girls located in Toronto.24 Moreover, the government's own figures may have underrepresented the numbers of First Nations girls. Revealing how race was constructed, a status Indian girl admitted to OTSG from a large city, whose family was solidly blue collar, was described in her file with little reference to her Native heritage. Yet girls from reserves, whether Métis or status Indians, were more likely to be analyzed in terms of their Native background, as the reserve (and particularly hunting and trapping subsistence) was equated with a racialized culture of backwardness.25 9
The increasing number of Native girls being sentenced by judges to training schools at this time was initially questioned by the Ontario government; largely for financial reasons, government officials declared it "impossible" to take any "Indian girls" as they were constitutionally designated "dominion [that is, federal] wards."26 A governmental advisory board on training schools also repeatedly asserted that Indian children posed rehabilitation problems and belonged in federally financed residential schools for Indians. When training schools were overcrowded during World War II, the campaign for segregation was again heartily endorsed by the nationally prominent social welfare leader, Charlotte Whitton.27 Playing the age-old game of squabbling over federal and provincial jurisdiction did not last long. An agreement was reached by the late 1940s, with the federal Department of Indian Affairs (DIA) paying the upkeep of status Indians in OTSG.28 This did not stop some bureaucratic bickering over who was an Indian; in one case, the parsimonious province tried to argue that the daughter of a status mother who had moved off the reserve to live with another man had forfeited her Indian status.29 10
The increasing number of First Nation girls sent to training school also reflected governments' new interest in integrating Native peoples into the heart of the welfare state. Addressing the Senate and House of Commons Committee on Indian Affaris in 1947–48, the Canadian Welfare Council and the Canadian Association of Social Workers called for an end to "discriminatory practices" and the extension of provincial social services, such as education and health, to Indians, "thus effecting the full assimilation of Indians to Canadian life."30 Child welfare services were emphasized, as they were in much social work discourse aiming to reform the marginal, as social workers pleaded for the right to help Native communities deal with problems such as delinquency. "Indian juvenile delinquents, apprehended off the reserve," they lamented, "were in most cases returned forthwith without any attempt being made for their treatment and reform."31 Framed within a liberal rhetoric of rights and citizenship, these pleas for the equal "protection" of Indian children just like "white children" had results. In 1955, the Ontario government agreed to extend Children's Aid Society (CAS) services to Native peoples across the province,32 and social workers were also increasingly deployed by the federal department to service reserve communities. Even though a federal report of the late 1960s conceded the problems that had ensued, including Indian antagonism to "adopting out," it deemed these problems not entirely "unique" to Indians, urging even further integration into the Canadian welfare state.33 11
The pressure put on governments by social workers after World War II reflected new interest in their research and practice with the First Nations. Social workers assumed that the "cultural backwardness" characteristic of reserve inhabitants resembled the backwardness of "lumpen" families and that both could be altered with education, material aid, and character reformation. Long concerned with aiding and resocializing the poor and working classes, social work practice now grafted existing priorities and methods onto their work with Native communities. Delinquent Indian girls, noted one 1949 study, were a "welfare as much as a juvenile delinquency" problem, with their "antisocial behaviour," like that of white girls, often emanating from inadequate family life. Indeed, it was argued that there were "universal causes" of delinquency, regardless of race: "neglect, unhappiness, ignorance and poverty."34 12
Social workers stressed the social and environmental causes of Native delinquency; one prominent Canadian social worker argued that poverty, disease, and even "supposed character traits such as indolence and shiftlessness" among Indians were likely caused by malnutrition. Another study pointed critically to the racial "prejudice" against Indians and their "low standard of living," especially the poverty and disease plaguing reserves. Criticisms of residential schools and indictments of federal Indian policy as "disastrous," with "few benefits" for Natives, were fairly bold for the time. However, some social work studies clearly had trouble shedding an underlying cultural condescension toward Native peoples.35 The conflicts and wrongs occasioned by colonial contact, it was suggested, had created disintegrating Native cultures, with no moral compass. They are not "inferior," said one social worker, but their customs, somewhat "childish and savage," were destroyed by missionaries who offered little in return, save a religion "too abstract for them to grasp." Her conclusion that Indians were "backward, yes" but it was "more environment than native intelligence"36 summed up this paternalistic posture, a perspective not unlike some of the contemporary anthropological studies of Aboriginal peoples that also stressed family disintegration and social dislocation.37 13
Illegitimate pregnancies were deemed a common sign of delinquency for both white and Native girls, and it was assumed that they produced similar, dysfunctional outcomes. While conceding that, in some Indian communities, a more "permissive and accepting" attitude resulted in the integration of these children into extended families, one American study claimed that illegitimacy was still seen with a measure of disapproval, that absent fathers resulted in the abrogation of "wholesome" family relations and the "normal psycho-social development" of the child."38 Both educators and the federal government had for some time urged lessons in sexual purity for Native girls, to be integrated into their overall training for domesticity. Just as poor and working-class girls were equated with the concept of sex delinquency, Native girls were presumed to need moral protection and surveillance to curb their amoral inclinations.39 These protectionist concerns were taken up by the new cadre of CAS and reserve social workers. Their worries were sometimes grounded in the very real material and social vulnerability of Native girls. Social workers objected, for instance, when impoverished and underage Native girls were taken in and used by an older white man,40 and in some cases, Native girls, aided by female relatives, complained to federal authorities about sexual abuse by Native men in their communities.41 The problem, not unknown to historians of working-class women, was that a desire to protect could easily slide into condescending or coercive surveillance. 14
Often, the failure of Native parents to discipline their children forcefully was cited as evidence of familial and cultural inadequacies leading to delinquency. They are "fond of children," admitted one social worker, "but apathetic about their training and discipline."42 Indian agents agreed that "parental laxity," including turning a blind eye to truancy, led to "no sense of responsibility and discipline" for Native girls.43 In 1953, a social worker implored the federal Indian Affairs Department to fund a nursery school on her reserve as an antidote to delinquency, as children were left "to their own devices" after they were only a year old, with bad behavior unchecked. "The parents," she claimed, "are [later] asking the RCMP, the nurse and Agent for help, but the [bad] habits are already ingrained."44 Native parents, however, may have seen this differently. As Dr. Clare Brant, a Mohawk psychiatrist later wrote, many Native cultures eschewed interventionist discipline, allowing a large measure of choice and independence for youth. Discipline was not imposed through parental coercion or external control as much as through "indirect" learning, exposure to community controls, or rituals.45 15
Social workers and Indian agents, however, often saw their own white, middle-class, and Euro-Canadian child-rearing norms as superior. (Ironically, these sanctioned physical punishment, though Native families generally did not.) Both social work organizations and reform groups like the Elizabeth Fry Society, which also lobbied for "social citizenship" for Native peoples, believed integration into the welfare state would counter racial discrimination and offer Native peoples equal opportunities. A few voices also suggested that assimilation should not erase a distinct Indian identity, foreshadowing later calls for a "cultural mosaic," but social work practice generally (and government policy certainly) presumed a long-term goal of assimilation, designed to make Indians equal to, but exactly the same as, other Canadians.46 Similar trends were evident in the U.S.; a 1956 Senate report on juvenile delinquency claimed that poverty and living conditions bred high levels of Indian delinquency but saw these problems as the "birth pangs of assimilation" faced by every "Americanizing" group, which would be overcome with new opportunities and "integration" into society.47 Despite their well-intentioned liberalism, these advocates did not question the professional self-interest and cultural superiority often underlying their definition of, and solution for, "the Indian problem."48 16


The sentencing reports of First Nations girls bore strong similarities to those of other OTSG inmates: the girls were considered high risk teens because of sex, running away, truancy, disobedience, alcohol use, and, to a lesser extent, theft. Moreover, their families were often deemed morally or financially unable to care for them. Native families were sometimes excused for producing delinquent daughters because they were unaware of the wider community's moral standards. One magistrate paternalistically informed two parents that "had they been white, there might have been a charge of contributing to juvenile delinquency laid against them." Presumably, they escaped because they knew so little about controlling their children.49 Native girls, claimed an Ontario government official, were really "unmoral rather than immoral." They were childish, naive, and ignorant; therefore it was a "good thing to have them in protective custody up to the age of marriage or 18 whichever is earliest."50 Poverty and a lack of privacy, it was also claimed, resulted in the visibility of adult sexual encounters, which produced sexual immorality in children. It was an all-too-familiar argument, used to scapegoat the urban poor and "pathological" families for problems of incest and violence.51 17
To police and court officials especially, Native parents appeared to be apathetic and irresponsible--the very same criticisms they often had of poor, white girls' parents. In court, Native parents might concede that they had problems with their daughters but then offered contradictory responses when asked if they could "manage" them.52 These parents may have meant they could control them, but they chose not to. Their responses were certain to disappoint judges who were looking for declarations of more, not less, discipline. One father agreed that his daughter should "go to school" and, when asked about her drinking, simply responded "I don't give it to her." "Why don't you punish her?" demanded the judge. The father's response was a "hands off" one: "Well, I can't do anything else other than tell her to go to school. If she does not want to listen to me, what can I do?"53 18
Their responses also reveal the very real burdens of work, family care, and poverty--common in many inmates' Files--that limited the ability of parents to control their daughters' conduct.54 Parents with transient, insecure work lives were not able to oversee daughters' school attendance; when a young girl, whose Native parents worked in southern Ontario tobacco fields, broke her first probation rules, remaining truant, she was sent to OTSG despite her parents desire to keep her at home. Similarly, a mother confronted by a judge about her inadequate discipline seemed puzzled as to why she would physically restrain her daughter from wandering through the reserve, and added practically, "I can't go looking for her when I have many other children to look after."55 In sentencing, families themselves were often used as evidence against girls; their relatives' arrests for alcohol use, criminal records, illegitimacy, or sexual "immorality" in the family all indicted the girl and were rationalizations for her incarceration. Indeed, sexual promiscuity especially was seen as contagious, passed on from other female relatives, with girls imitating their sisters and mothers.56 19
In keeping with patterns of juvenile justice across North America, girls' sexual promiscuity was a central concern of the courts and a major reason that judges resorted to closed custody sentences. Sexual misconduct might become the central issue, no matter what the original charge or concern of the Indian agent, CAS, police, or the family.57 One Native orphan who had been placed in a residential school and who was engaged in petty theft from other schoolmates was sent to OTSG for "her own protection," not only to curb her stealing but also because she had "run away with a man and spent the night in his cabin."58 Insinuation, gossip, and the suspicions of those like Indian agents intent on regulating reserve morality were enough evidence for a magistrate or judge to proscribe training school. One fifteen year old was accused by her mother of refusing "[to] obey . . . she leaves for late nights and sometimes does not come home at all." Her Indian agent testified that she had "bad school attendance," but perhaps his most damning statement was that she was "also found in a cabin with a man."59 Court personnel were concerned with how much sexual intercourse had taken place, when, and with whom; multiple or inappropriate partners (older married men, strangers) and a lack of sense of guilt were indications of the need for the girl's retraining in sexual values. 20
Along with sexual immorality, the outright refusal of girls to accept rules set by parents, teachers, or Indian agents (who also sometimes acted as probation officers) influenced the judge's decision to incarcerate. In distinction to white youth, however, Native girls more likely to encounter surveillance and punishment for underage drinking, in part because promiscuity was assumed to be the inevitable outcome of intoxication. Alcohol consumption was a concern of the police, Indian agents, and sometimes community members near reserves who wanted Native youth controlled, though occasionally Native parents also worried that their daughters were falling into bad drinking patterns. Reflecting a prevailing stereotype of Natives prone to alcoholism, one judge sentenced a girl, arrested only once, to training school, noting "she has to be protected from alcoholism, if she is drinking at fourteen."60 The Ontario government official, who privately noted that communities close to reserves wanted to "get rid of" Native youths who were drinking, provides one reason for increased incarceration of Native girls in this era.61 21
In Canada and the U.S., working-class and poor families sometimes participated in the criminalization of "delinquent daughters" who refused to contribute to the family economy, obey rules, or were deemed to be out of sexual control.62 Some Native families also asked police, court, or federal Indian authorities to intervene when daughters misbehaved. "I cannot control her, she will not listen to direction," testified one distraught grandmother in court after her granddaughter was arrested on alcohol charges.63 Two other parents claimed they wanted their daughter, who had run away and been arrested with a prostitute, sent away to "Indian school," though their wishes were disregarded and the judge opted for training school instead.64 Like many respectable working-class families, Native ones frowned on youthful sexual relations outside of marriage and generally endorsed marital monogamy, though extended kin networks, especially on reserves, would also adopt illegitimate children.65 22
Tensions and power struggles within these families were exacerbated not only by the precarious if not impoverished conditions of living but also by ill health, alcohol use, violence, and by the transience or desertion of some family members.66 But girls who told the authorities of violence perpetrated against them by family members or strangers were viewed skeptically, especially if their own conflicts with the law involved any insinuations of promiscuity. When one girl claimed that her brother-in-law raped her, it was dismissed as consensual sex by the authorities. Another young teen from Northern Ontario went to the police after she was raped by a group of men but was disbelieved, simply because she later admitted that she knew the men and because she refused a medical exam.67 23
A few Native girls, unhappy with their families or their lives, self sentenced, asking to be sent away, no matter where. One girl arrested because of "late nights, drinking and intercourse with boys," declared in court that there was a "man at her aunt's who she does not like" and told the judge "just send me to Training School and I'll go."68 Another girl said she confronted "strapping" at residential school and did not want to return there, but she also declared that she wanted to be sent "a million miles away" from her mother, who she claimed abused the younger children in the family.69 More often, parents complained about their daughters. Even if Native child-rearing practices were traditionally less coercive, some parents, whether more acculturated or simply overwhelmed with worries, drew outside authorities into their attempts to regulate their daughters' conduct. Indeed, this was part of a longer tradition of First Nations selectively using Euro-Canadian law and the Indian agent to deal with perceived problems within their communities.70 24
In a classic case involving familial power struggles, one teen fought for independence from the authority and discipline of her guardian grandmother. Almost sixteen, Patricia was taken in by grandparents after her widowed father left the home; the grandmother alleged that he had a drinking problem and had deserted his two remaining daughters. Patricia had already been enjoying considerable independence, as she had left school at thirteen to look after her father's household, and he was frequently absent. After she moved to her grandmother's, she went to work as a babysitter for a local teacher, but the teacher discharged her, claiming Patricia was sleeping on the job (which Patricia did not deny). But it was her grandmother who pushed the issue into the Family Court, complaining that she "had heard that [Patricia] drinks" and, more important, that she "stays out all hours [even] overnight" refusing to say who she was with. The fact that men in cars drove up to the house and honked to lure Patricia out seemed to symbolize to the grandmother the lack of sexual respectability and dangerous independence that her granddaughter had assumed. 25
Once the Family Court was involved, Patricia was on more precarious ground. The probation officer wrested out of her the damning facts that she once had intercourse with a seventeen year old and that she drank beer. Judge Kinnear offered a three-week reprieve, with a strict curfew. Given the antagonism between grandmother and granddaughter, the curfew was bound to fail. At her second court appearance, Patricia admitted to staying out all night at a friend's (though she was with her older brother) and the grandmother testified eagerly about her missed curfews. Patricia was sent to OTSG despite her desperate pleas to the contrary and her brother's offer to pay his army salary to Patricia so she could go back to their father's house and live by herself. 26
At every turn, Patricia resented her grandmother's control, which was hardly surprising, as she had already exercised considerable independence at a young age. Aided by her lawyer, she defended her own actions and explained that she and her grandmother could not see eye to eye on any issue, including religion, as she refused to go to her grandmother's evangelical church. Indeed, this one reference to the grandmother's religious affiliation may well explain the grandmother's actions. The Juvenile Court, however much it claimed to defend children's interests, usually placed more stock in adults' testimony. The judge's closing remarks could have been made at countless trials of girls in the 1950s: "You have brought this on yourself by not following orders. . . . do you not see what you are doing to your grandmother? . . . you only live for yourself. You don't have any notion of discipline. Intercourse with one boy might be the beginning of very improper conduct . . . leading you into real trouble and sorrow. You are redeemable . . . but we will send you to Training School."71 Not all family members were so firmly committed to exerting control as was Patricia's grandmother, but families did initiate complaints or testify against daughters in about one third of the cases I examined. Far fewer wanted the girl removed to training school, but once in court, the process often moved very quickly beyond their control.72 27
A small number of Native girls in OTSG had already been removed from their families into foster care, or had attended a residential school, and the latter could provoke alienation and anger in young girls. One girl sent to OTSG in 1939 explained that in "Indian school" they had told her she could take a bath for ten minutes, but "after 5 minutes, they came and strapped her." She hit back and continued to do so when the principal came to strap her. The violence she encountered at residential school resurfaced in her actions when she returned home. Her mother began to complain to the authorities that "she could not control her," and the police became involved.73 After government policies facilitated the admission of status Indian girls to training schools in the 1940s, some residential school principals tried to send girls considered discipline problems to them, claiming residential schools were never meant to be correctional institutions. Yet, the punishment at most residential schools was as harsh as, if not harsher than, at OTSG, and the only reason some girls preferred to be sent to "Indian school" was to be "with their friends," thus escaping the more total linguistic and cultural isolation of OTSG.74 28
The sentencing of Native girls thus bore similarities to sentencing of other girls in OTSG, particularly the language of protection from bad influences used to justify the girl's isolation from family and community. However, the decision to incarcerate Native girls also reflected anxieties about their "primitiveness" that exposed deep-seated denigrations based on race. Native girls were slightly younger than non-Native ones on admission, and the majority were originally reserve inhabitants.75 Native families involved in hunting and trapping for subsistence were seen as especially problematic because the parents were more transient, sometimes leaving children alone to look after themselves, or because they lived "in the Indian fashion"76 in a tent part of the year. Indeed, the whole reserve environment was seen as retrograde and problematic, encouraging cultural backwardness. Positive aspects of reserve life, such as the collective concern expressed for children or the community's sharing of meagre resources,77 were sometimes noted by the Indian agent or probation officer, but they were overshadowed by the view that children were neglected and undisciplined. An image of lawlessness and excessive drinking characterized many committal and probation reports of girls from Reserves. As one probation officer noted, "her behaviour is common for the Reserve . . . she is out late on weekends, and may not return home for a day or two."78 Girls might reasonably explain that they were simply traveling around the reserve, staying with various friends or relatives--understandable in such small, contained communities--but this was ignored. Police often testified that reserve youth were hard to control and that the mere sight of a cruiser led them to "hit the bush," a response one can perhaps appreciate.79 The reserve environment, legal authorities believed, hindered the cultivation of a work ethic in children. "As with the custom of the Indian," noted a probation worker, "Mary works for a few days or weeks, then takes a holiday until she needs money again, or is ready to return to work."80 29
Once before a court, some Native girls were also given little chance to redeem themselves on probation. A fourteen-year-old Haudenosaunee girl, Anne, was arrested for drinking underage in a car. Her sole support father was urged by the police to lay a summons against her. Once in court, the RCMP testified that she was not adequately supervised in the home, a claim certain to influence a judge's decision to send her away--which he did. Such rapid incarceration was undoubtedly facilitated by the racist notion that Native girls, with laxer morals and less will power, required immediate protection. However, reserve girls also came up before rural, or smaller city courts that lacked the sophisticated probation system of large cities like Hamilton or Toronto. The result was "justice by geography," with girls offered fewer options or chances before incarceration. This was made painfully clear in the case of a Cree girl from the North who was at residential school but was deemed a problem because of truancy and staying out at night; her claims that she was raped when on the streets, however, had been viewed skeptically. Because her single parent father was working in the bush, and with few foster care options nearby, she was immediately sent to OTSG, despite a warning from the residential school principal that the father would probably prefer she was sent to him.81 Although this period saw growing urbanization of Native peoples, as resource development altered the North and families moved into both northern and more southerly cities, the majority of Native peoples still lived on reserves.82 Likewise, over half of the OTSG Native girls were from reserves; about one third of those were Ojibwa/Cree from the "far north" while many others came from southwestern Ontario or close to Lake Huron, where both Six Nations and Ojibwa reserves had been established since the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Few came from cities like Toronto or Hamilton.83 30
Like their mothers, girls who did come from reserves were also subject to an extra layer of surveillance from the federal Indian agent who monitored their truancy, alcohol consumption, sexual "immorality," and illegitimacy in their families. Indeed, there were similarities with adult Native women whose increasing incarceration during this period in Ontario's Mercer Reformatory for Females reflected the intensified material and social dislocations occasioned by colonialism, particularly in previously isolated areas now open to development, as well as increased urbanization, the racist suppositions of court, penal, and police personnel, and the cultural dissonance between Native and non-Native cultures.84 31

Culture Clashes

The most trying traumas for Native girls came not in the courtroom but within the walls of the training school, and it was here that the nation-building project of managing the marginal assumed distinct patterns for Native and non-Native girls. Ontario government bureaucrats had warned early on that "it might not be a good idea for us to take Indians,"85 as reform schools could not deal with children from different cultures. They were correct. In the case of Anne, the girl sent to OTSG after one alcohol offense, the psychiatrist who examined her said he found "nothing really wrong with her except that she was homesick"; he even criticized the judge's sentence (which doctors rarely did), saying "one would consider this [one offense] a questionable reason for sending a girl to reform school."86 Once incarcerated in the training school, however, the real trouble began, as Anne rebelled against the strict regime. The OTSG superintendent noted critically of Anne that she was withdrawn and "seems to wish to stick to her own culture."87 For many Native girls, however, sticking to their own culture was their only defense in an regime designed to alter, indeed assault, their very inner being. 32
Psychologists and doctors admitted that depression was sometimes the result of the "tension of living in OTSG" for Native girls, especially those from the more remote North.88 The OTSG superintendents, particularly the one who took over in 1952, repeatedly objected to Native girls' admissions: "Indian girls are a problem in the school. Their cultural patterns are not understood and they appear unreachable."89 Her reluctance to take these girls, however, came not from any respect for Native cultures but from a feeling of white supremacy and her certainty that Native cultural patterns were inferior and unalterable. Nor were other students immune to racist ideas, as Native girls whose first language was not English were sometimes mocked by their fellow students. A thirteen year old raised in the North by her Cree-speaking grandmother confided to the medical examiner that "she was unhappy in the school and says the other girls tease her about her accent."90 33
The culture clash recognized even by penal workers at the time has been reinterpreted in more recent medical writing by experts like Mohawk psychiatrist Dr. Clare Brant. Combining his mainstream and Freudian psychiatric training with the writings of anthropologists and his own experience as a Native medical practitioner,91 Brant developed theories delineating how the process of "identity creation and [psychological] rapprochement"92 took on distinctive contours in Native (primarily Ojibwa/Cree and Mohawk) cultures.93 Emotional restraint and noninterference, Brant argued, were key values conveyed in Native child rearing: "Gratitude and approval are rarely verbalized . . . joyfulness and enthusiasm [may be] repressed along with anger." When these values clash with other child-rearing practices, he continued, the result may be "paralysis and frustration" for the child.94 34
When medical experts examine Native children, Brant continues, they often find them "passive, difficult to assess and not forthcoming. . . . this behaviour is often misinterpreted by clinicians unfamiliar with [their] culture as evidence of psychopathology. [such passivity] . . . reflects patterns of conflict suppression, conflict projection and the humiliating superego . . . [which were] techniques of ensuring group unity and cohesion. Failure to recognize and understand such cultural influences can . . . turn what was intended as a helpful encounter into a destructive one."95 The emphasis in many Native communities on teasing, shaming, and ridicule for community control, Brant also believed, could produce children with a "humiliating superego," that is, fearful of criticism, to the point of retreating, "avoiding trying anything new or apologizing for error."96 Furthermore, the contradictory and dominating values of the colonizing "white culture" would only accentuate children's weak sense of self-esteem. Brant's fears in this regard were confirmed in studies done in the 1970s, influenced by research on Afro-American racial identification. They showed that Canadian Indian children, located in a culture of "prejudice," consistently chose "white" role models (in this case dolls) over Indian ones. "Indian children were less able to make racial self identification" than white children and, sadly, felt that "to look like an Indian is undesirable."97 35
Brant's characterization of the medical and social work misunderstandings of Native children does seem to capture the encounters between experts and Native girls in OTSG with tragic precision. Unfortunately, the emotional restraint that served the girls as a defense mechanism in an alienating and racist environment was interpreted by staff as a sign that the child was not absorbing the lessons of training school. "She makes little real progress. . . . an Indian child on whom the school will make little basic change. Goes along, creating no real trouble, but absorbs little from the environment. She contributes little and takes little," wrote the superintendent disapprovingly of one girl.98 She also claimed that the girls did not really assimilate their school lessons She scrapes through by "copying," she claimed dismissively; this supposedly denoted a lack of intelligence.99 Yet as Brant and others have pointed out, in many Native cultures children learn by "modelling" not "shaping"; they are shown, not told what to do.100 36
Emotional restraint was further accentuated by "shyness, an endearing quality rewarded" in Native children, according to Brant, as well as the practice of "conservation withdrawal," a retreat of the self from unfamiliar or unpleasant circumstances.101 However, failing to show any response, other than silence, Native girls at OTSG were described as mentally "slow" and "lackadaisical,"102 exhibiting a moral and emotional emptiness at their core. "She is very unusually quiet, appearance is somewhat dull, her responses slow," said one typical assessment. Repeatedly, it was claimed that First Nations girls "[acquired] no real value system" in the school."103 Placement (probation) reports often predicted failure for this reason: "in the community her prognosis may be poor. Under 24 hour supervision she is ok, but when left on her own, her judgement will be faulty and attitude lazy."104 37
Native girls' retreat behind a wall of restraint in the face of both disparagement and an unknown they could not control was also interpreted as "sneakiness," as school workers incorporated a common racist stereotype into their assessments. "She is quiet, deep and cunning," wrote the superintendent of one girl, "she goes along with training . . . but it is not penetrating. She has no conscience and is not progressing. . . . She appears cooperative, but is deceitful."105 The white person's "obsession with eye contact" and direct engagement,106 as Brant notes, was used in the courtroom and in OTSG to cast Indian girls as shifty and "secretive," "smooth" and deceitful.107 38
Hiding their emotions behind a facade of either toughness or silence was a safety valve for many girls in the training school who had to cope with an alien and strict environment, as well as memories of poverty, violence, neglect, or unhappiness. For Native girls, though, this strategy was especially noticeable. The young woman described above who said she had been gang raped was supposedly sent to OTSG for her own "protection," as the residential school would not take her, and no foster home could be found right away. Undoubtedly frightened, a mere fourteen, she "looks blankly at the floor" when the doctor tries to test her, and "only answers in one or two words. . . . she can't relate to the other girls, can't even remember how long she has been in here."108 Even the "time-regulated and goal oriented" interviewing techniques of medical and social work examiners may have been alien to many First Nations girls. The emphasis in their cultures on "reciprocal," not one-way encounters, and especially a social aversion to "direct requests, instructions, or disagreeing openly" meant that girls were unlikely to communicate easily with social workers trained to use interviews as a means of instruction and forthright "problem solving."109 39
Although Native girls were often constructed in a singular, and negative, cultural mold by their keepers, it is important to note that they did not uniformly adopt a strategy of restraint as a coping mechanism. Their reactions were more varied, with some adapting to the school's expectations, and a few rebelling with a fierce determination. Those who did not fit the penal workers' and doctors' preconceived images of Indians were always described as exceptions to the rule. This is a "materially indulged Indian girl, who on occasion adopts a superior air," noted the school about Grace, who did not approximate their image of the impoverished Indian (and presumably was arrogant for not being one). Her probation report continued in this vein: "this is one of the more intelligent better educated Indian families [on the Reserve]."110 Another "exceptional" girl was described as having the "appearance of a rather refined Indian girl . . . with some value standards."111 The "typical" Indian family, on the other hand, was seen to be poor, "living in a tar shack" surrounded by dirt, and drinking to excess. To staff, the model Native inmate (though seldom found) did not disrupt their image of slowness but conveyed the requisite appreciation for the School's care: "she is dull . . . [but] always happy, grateful for her clothes, obedient, and gets on well with children."112 A grateful Indian child fit well into the colonial mindset, which believed Natives should be thankful for the paternal/maternal care offered by institutions like OTSG, a view that itself justified and replicated colonialism.113 40
Nowhere is this cultural dissonance more glaring than in decisions made about girls' intelligence, sometimes resulting in their transfer to institutions for the mentally retarded. The class and race bias of intelligence tests and forensic theories used by medical experts in North America have been well documented by historians, as has the increased role of such "scientific" advice on sentencing decisions in the later twentieth century.114 As Jennifer Stephen has shown for an earlier period, forensic testing of young working-class women resulted in frequent diagnoses of "feeble-mindedness," predicated more on middle-class abhorrence of their morality than on purely scientific measurements.115 Class bias persisted in the testing of poor and working-class girls admitted to OTSG. However, the problem of language and cultural differences often compounded the problem for Native girls. In routine psychiatric and intelligence testing, Native girls' bodies became both the site of "cross cultural" medical misreadings but also the "very real products of colonialism" as white experts designated Native responses to be intellectually and culturally deficient, with some drastic consequences.116 Doctors and psychologists who tested the girls when they were first admitted to OTSG used standardized IQ and personality tests, including the Binet-Simon, Roestch, and Bender-Gestalt, even though by the late 1950s, they sometimes admitted these were inadequate measures. "She can barely read or write, has no general knowledge, does not understand the consequences of her promiscuous action," and is therefore "retarded" noted the doctor in his appraisal of one girl.117 Yet, a year later, the same doctor admitted that an IQ test was not a good measure for Native girls. He examined Ellen and initially concluded that her "retardation" and "IQ of 72" were due to her "cultural patterns." Yet, he noticed she was carrying an Ojibwa bible and asked her to read from it. "She reads quite well," he acknowledged, noting that the IQ test was probably inadequate.118 This did not, however, lead him to abandon such testing. 41
In Ellen's case as well, a fundamental problem seemed lost on the experts: they were testing girls whose first language was not English and whose language--in this case Ojibwa--did not easily translate concepts, such as "guilt," that the assessors were looking for.119 In one attempt to animate a girl whose "eyes were downcast, and responded briefly or not at all to questions," the doctor tried to ask more "culturally relevant" questions. Since her father fished, he asked her to name kinds of fish, but she "could only name two."120 Her silences convinced him she was mentally handicapped and she was transferred to the Smith Falls Hospital for retarded children. The potentially drastic outcome of such testing was exemplified in the case of two Ojibwa/Cree girls from northern Ontario, ages thirteen and fifteen. They were supposedly sent to OTSG for a break and enter, but it is clear that concerns about sexual promiscuity affected their sentences. The girls were arrested after breaking into a house, with their younger brother in tow, and stealing some groceries. The "victim" of the theft then acted as a translator at their trial! Because they were destitute, seldom at home (their parents were supposedly transient), and "in the bunkhouse" with local miners, they were sent to OTSG. The younger girl had a "minimal" English vocabulary and limited schooling, admitted the psychologist, so we must rely on "basic tests and views of school teachers here [at OTSG]." She could not do arithmetic and subtraction, and when asked to draw a person, she produced a "stick person," which was deemed "primitive." "Regardless of language and primitive background," concluded the doctor, "she appears to be a high grade mental defective."121 42
Her sister's artistic test and fate were similar. The superintendent claimed that Susan was more intelligent; the doctor disagreed. Her stick person was more sophisticated, "with details like fingers" indicating "border line intelligence" but, like her sister, she was still deemed "defective" and thus OTSG would be "wasted" on her as she could not be integrated into their educational program. Despite language difficulties and despite the doctor's admission that this girl was extremely tense when examined, the tests were taken as "scientific truth" and the sisters were transferred to Smith Falls. The doctor's musings on what to do with these sisters revealed the experts' racist equation of "primitive" reserve life with low intelligence: "we have two solutions. 1. return her to her primitive culture and accept that we can't modify her behaviour or secondly, consider her functioning as a high grade mental defective and certify her [for] one of Ontario's Hospital Training schools."122 In his eyes, the two were synonymous. 43
How many Native girls were transferred, under such medical orders, thus making it difficult to release them? In one instance, a father from the North urged the federal Indian agent to use his "authority" both to "make his [deserting] wife return" and "release his daughter from Smith Falls." The daughter had been sent from a residential school to St. Mary's Training School, then transferred to Smith Falls. Replying with some condescension, a DIA social worker told him that "specialists" with far greater knowledge than he had recommended this institution and that he would have a difficult time "managing" his daughter anyway with her mother gone. When the father persisted with his demands for the daughter's release, he was chastised paternalistically for failing to value his own daughter: "a year in this institution--one of the best in Canada--will mean a great deal to E. . . . I realize you want her home, but we are often called on to make sacrifices for our children." Rejecting this paternalism, the father persisted but with no apparent effect.123 44
Some of the social work and medical experts assessing girls in training school were aware of the inadequacies of testing, even discrimination against Native girls, but they were often trapped by the rigid structures of the juvenile justice system, as well as investment in their own professional training. One female psychologist tried to argue with the penal workers that they were not cognizant enough of the "cultural differences" that caused a Native girl to periodically "blow up" in rage. She believed the girl did badly on the IQ test because of her "social-economic background" and that her life on the reserve had been so completely different that she could not cope with OTSG. She, too, believed Native families were "undisciplined," but she at least sensed there were cultural, environmental, and spatial differences that left girls profoundly estranged in OTSG: 45

[S]he has grown up on a reserve where there is a different way of dealing with things that you don't like. . . . [family] controls are at a minimum. . . . From twelve on, she was on her own to do as she pleased. Here, she has to conform to standards she has never known before. Also she has to live in close contact with others. At home, she simply took herself away physically if she didn't like someone, even her mother. Here, she doesn't like two staff members, and she keeps the problem inside until she blows up.
Her analysis was a sympathetic attempt to make penal staff--always focused primarily on order and control--understand the cultural alienation of this inmate and the discriminatory consequences of the school regime on her. The psychological assessment, however, carried with it no power to send the girl home, and she could only weakly recommend counseling to help the girl "handle difficult situations." Perhaps there was no easy resolution. The girl initially rejected parole with her family as "there was too much drinking [there]."124 Ultimately, though, she chose her father's house over a work placement outside the reserve, opting for a culture she understood over one she did not.

Coping: Accommodation and Resistance

Girls' practice of "conservation withdrawal" was undoubtedly one form of resistance, as well as a coping mechanism. It was a strategy that some girls had already used in their court hearings. When a thirteen year old was queried in court about her runs from home, she answered "yes" when asked if she liked her home but refused to answer any questions about why she ran away for four or five days at a time and where she went.125 Such silences did not aid the possibility of probation, but like many other girls before the courts, their withdrawal into silence probably displayed an astute intuition that they could exercise minimal control over the court's decisions in any case. Those girls who did protest the evidence or their sentence found that pleas for another chance or protests at being sent away had little effect on the judge once his or her mind was made up. When Patricia, the girl whose grandmother had taken her to court, pleaded with the judge not to send her away, and worried about being placed with girls she did not know at OTSG, there was not even a hint of a second chance in the judge's firm response. 46
While silent withdrawal was more common among First Nations girls, other strategies they utilized to cope with their incarceration bore strong similarities to those of their fellow inmates in OTSG. Certainly, the best method to secure release from the school was to accommodate oneself to the regime and indicate, at least superficially, some acceptance of the school's lessons concerning sexual purity, femininity, and the work ethic. This was ultimately the strategy of most girls, both Native and non-Native, though they often engaged in considerable foot-dragging along the way, only reluctantly accepting the strictly supervised regime of the school, the lack of physical freedom, and the attempts to remake their morals and character into a new femininity. Once they were categorized as "amenable" and industrious, they could go out on a placement, though they were still under OTSG supervision. The distinct problem that Native girls faced was the stereotype of their unreachable nature; even if they were classified as "quiet" or "not very much trouble to the institution," matrons and the superintendent harbored resilient doubts that they had actually internalized the lessons of the school and could be released.126 47
Some girls did rebel, simply by offering psychiatrists and doctors different versions of their lives from those in the court documents. Others ran away, sometimes repeatedly. These "runs" or "awls" (absences without leave) were one of the most persistent discipline problems facing OTSG staff, even though they might be short-lived, with girls sometimes turning themselves in. Running away, even temporarily, to escape the confining routine and rules was part of the counterculture of the institution, cementing ties between the girls and establishing some as more daring leaders.127 While Native girls were integrated into this culture, some of their examiners also claimed they were more likely to engage in awls, and this was particularly so for those who were very young when admitted, far away from their homes.128 48
Girls also responded to the school regime with direct verbal and physical hostility to OTSG staff. Some girls made it abundantly clear when they arrived that they were "hostile to some of our ways," as the superintendent put it.129 And despite complaints that they did not like "unreachable Indian" girls, penal workers were unhappy with Native girls considered too assertive, like the girl who announced "I have a mind of my own and I use it" to the examining doctor.130 Cutting themselves and periodic outbursts of violence, focused on both property and other people, were also expressions of a some girls' rage and unhappiness. None of the these tactics were embraced by Native girls more than others, and both Native and non-Native girls found their run-away attempts and angry outbursts rewarded with time in detention, a strategy of behavior control that penal workers liked, but psychiatric and psychological counselors sometimes conceded was self-defeating. The girl emerged "contained" but unaltered, bitter, until the next outburst. 49
However, for Native girls who appeared withdrawn, such outbursts of anger must have seemed all the more incomprehensible to training school staff. As Clare Brant later wrote, if children raised with the "hands off" principle of noninterference find their existing community controls in abeyance and their identity under assault, they may understandably become "aggressive," unable to appreciate "the needs and rights of others."131 Under some conditions, he warned, emotional restraint can also "explode into the open as repressed hostility or violence, projected onto those near to us."132 Moreover, as many antiracist writers have noted, those who are taught to hate their own "self and identity" may respond by becoming "traumatized and self destructive."133 50
School placement workers often tried to foster out rebellious First Nations girls with other Native families as soon as possible, even if this meant sending them to a different reserve. Indeed, one girl refused to go to a non-Indian home when she was placed out: "I hate the way you people live," she told the placement officer, "always washing and going on. We do not live like that." Concluding that "she would only fit into a home with her own race," the worker found a temporary foster family for her on another reserve, only to run into problems because the girl lacked status with that band, and her mother had lost status on her own reserve. Returned to the school for promiscuity, the girl soon went awl, breaking windows to escape, then fleeing, leading a group of other inmates as far as Detroit, in search of her father. Eventually, she was paroled to her own sister, leading a provincial official to reiterate the opinion that the school should simply not take Native girls.134 51
If OTSG placed a girl out in a Native home, and probation was unsuccessful, this only reinforced their preconceived notion that Indians were unreformable. Admitting that Ellen, who came from near Dryden, was very "unhappy," OTSG placed her near a reserve in southern Ontario to be schooled with other Native children. A pregnancy ensued, confirming the superintendent's view that she was a "typical Indian who does not understand our moral standards."135 Sent back to the training school, as almost all pregnant girls were, Ellen was designated too "stubborn" to be helped, particularly because she was often in detention, once tearing a cast off her broken leg in rage. Yet, a later letter to the superintendent, after release, following further conflicts with the law and a suicide attempt, revealed not stubbornness, but despair: 52

"Miss B if you felt the way I do, you would want to kill yourself. I tried it. But I still woke up in the same house. Everyone around me making my life miserable. They know I want to get hold of sleeping pills again. I have never had anyone to talk to about why I do these things. I guess I never will. . . . If I was dead then I would not have any more worries. . . . I wish you would ask Mrs H to write to me. I want to go some place where I will get help, and where I can't see my mother [who] calls me a whore. . . . I was for awhile, but I had to get some money. . . . I want someone to help me out of this problem."136
When wardship was terminated at eighteen, Ellen had already also been in the local jail and mental hospital.

Although none of the Native girls in these files attempted suicide while in OTSG, we have limited information on them after their release137 and Ellen's later suicide attempt offers a rare and foreboding glimpse into a life that became far more unhappy after her institutionalization. Her self-destructive actions cannot be understood apart from the broader context of the "collective traumas, unnamed powerlessness, poverty and anomie"138 created by colonialism. In a more recent analysis of federally incarcerated Native women and suicide, it was suggested that the "success" of correctional institutions in inculcating a sense of guilt and shame in women who have no method of dealing with these immense blows to their sense of self sometimes results in suicide appearing "the only way out"139--as it may well have appeared to Ellen. 53
At least one OTSG doctor claimed that girls from "mixed race" backgrounds suffered especially difficult cultural adjustments and resisted the school's agenda. Perhaps an aversion to miscegenation, an underlying preference for the "apartheid" of reserves, led him to see mixed race girls as confused, with no cultural moorings, for there was little real evidence to support his claim, a further example of the reification of "race" in expert commentary on First Nations girls. In one case, his diagnosis of a girl's cultural alienation led to his (rare) recommendation of release as a solution for dealing with a violent inmate. When Jane, a young thirteen-year-old Métis girl was sent from the North for promiscuity and running away, and proved to be one of the most difficult girls in the school, resisting at every point, the doctor suggested sending her home to her Native mother, even though the CAS on the spot refused because the mother was supposedly "promiscuous," impoverished, and incompetent. "No counselling will work," disagreed the doctor emphatically and . . . I have pointed this out many times. . . . a mixed cultural background causes this."140 54
Jane was involved in repeated runaway attempts and violence, not only against others but also against herself, including slashing herself with broken glass. "When not awl, she spends most of her time in detention," commented the superintendent, who suggested that the solution was to give Jane massive doses of tranquilizers (a common solution she suggested for difficult and violent girls). A temporary transfer to the OTSG wing of the adult Mercer reformatory was also used after Jane's "runs and promiscuous" behavior and an attack on a matron proved to the superintendent that she must be pacified. To the psychiatrist's credit, he resisted the pressure from the OTSG superintendent to certify Jane so that she could be transferred to a mental institution.141 His assessment ultimately may point more to the loneliness, alienation, and difficulty coping with denigration and self-hatred that propelled Jane to slash herself and run away: "she feels frustrated in a desire to be with her mother and this periodically involves her in [runs]. She feels quite desperate when she thinks of her mother and the simple surroundings she is used to and becomes angry at staff and destroys property. . . . send her home."142 By time Jane was sent home, however, her spiral downward left her more violent toward her own family, drinking heavily, and desperately unhappy. Her sentence in OTSG was a disaster, her self-punishing and violent outbursts were expressions of anger, or unanswered calls for help, or both. The potentially tragic effects of institutionalization could not have been more conclusively evident. 55
Families who remained in close touch with their daughters, however, might attempt to speed the process of release by protesting their long sentence or by claiming (as many other poor families did) that the girls' labor or domestic aid was needed in the home. A father who admitted there was a "problem" with his daughter, but protested her incarceration from the very beginning, argued that he needed her help in his job as school janitor on the reserve because he was arthritic and his wife disabled. "I could have brought half the reservation to testify [in her defence]" he noted at her trial, but "I did not have the money."143 Once released from OTSG, families sometimes pushed for parole at home--despite meager income and small houses--rather than placement elsewhere. "Lorraine wants to stay with her family, to care for her mother's new baby and take over when her mother takes another child for traditional [Native] medical treatment," noted one placement officer, who conceded that the girl was better off with her own family.144 56
In a few cases, families and friends tried to protect released girls by hiding their behavior from the prying eyes of placement officers: "the parents are protective and won't tell you anything," grumbled one placement officer doing follow-up.145 Occasionally, the girl was able to disappear from sight, a strategy accomplished fairly easily if the reserve community was sympathetic to her or if she lived in a more remote area. "We can't trace this nomadic family, so terminate wardship," the OTSG superintendent finally conceded reluctantly of one northern family.146 Another placement officer searched high and low through all the "local Indian cafes" near a southern reserve with an Ontario Provincial Police officer, then gave up, her resignation reflecting the racist view that Indians could not be told apart: "it appears she is good at hiding . . . and I cannot tell her apart from any other Indian squaw."147 57
When placement officers came calling, Native families might also successfully resist their advice and intervention."The [families] want to settle it in their own way . . . in the long house tradition," wrote a placement officer when a young girl still under wardship became pregnant by a neighbor. The boy's parents did not rush the couple into marriage but waited until the baby was born. Even then, the paternal grandparents expressed a strong wish to adopt the child but worried that "L is not ready to settle down [and marry] yet." The father assured the OTSG worker that "they would do what is right" and despite the fact that girls were routinely reincarcerated for such pregnancies, the placement officer essentially agreed that it was far better to let these families settle things in their traditional manner rather than force the girl back to OTSG.148 In some instances, then, social workers' sense of cultural distance from Native communities provided the space Native families needed to exercise their own methods of social and familial control. 58
The resolution of these families to solve their own problems was testament to the persistence of traditions of social adjudication and control in Native communities, despite the attempts of the Canadian state to impose new legal and welfare measures on Native peoples. The extent to which communities selectively used Euro-Canadian law, or their own traditions, or both, varied from one reserve to another, but a minority of parents and certainly the girls clearly voiced their resentment of the intrusion of the Canadian criminal justice system into their lives.149 Other families did make use of family and juvenile courts to try to maintain control over their daughters. But their aim was rarely incarceration in training school, and their use of the criminal justice system must be understood within the broader relations of colonialism, particularly the immense material, social, and cultural stresses on Native families. When social workers urged the federal government to let them "help" Native juvenile delinquents in the late 1940s, the key constituency they failed to consult were the First Nations themselves. 59


In post-World War II Canada, calls by governments and social workers for the extension of welfare and social services to Native peoples had contradictory effects. Though Native communities undoubtedly wanted to share in some benefits of the welfare state, Native families also found themselves the subject of increased surveillance and intervention, leading to loss of control over their children's lives. Despite a rhetoric of equal citizenship, and well-intentioned calls for an end to discrimination, the integration of Native peoples into the welfare state was governed by an assimilationist ideal, as well as ethnocentric and racist notions of Anglo and white cultural superiority. Social work discourses and government practices urged intervention, intervention slid into surveillance, and surveillance sometimes became the first step to incarceration. Ironically and tragically, by the 1950s, Native girls were increasingly offered the equal "right" to be confined in training school with white girls. 60
Native girls were deemed in need of protection and removal from their families and communities when their promiscuity, absences from home, truancy, drinking, and petty theft were seen to be uncontrollable. Like most girls facing the courts, there was a dominating concern with their sexuality, and they often came from families coping with internal conflicts, immense poverty, and sometimes violence or addiction. Indeed, the sexual regulation of these girls was never separate from this material and social dislocation. But rather than dealing with the structural problems facing the girls and their families, whether it was violence or poverty, rather than offer sexual education or birth control, the preferred solution of the courts was to remove girls from their families and attempt to inculcate in them new morals, as well as train them for domesticity or wage work. In one sense, the aim of reform school was to make over their charges into respectable working-class girls with middle-class sexual values who would perform working-class labor. 61
The triad of sexual purity, training in working-class labor, and feminine demeanor was thus the solution for managing the marginal, whether it was the "pauper or the primitive."150 While it is important to acknowledge that the nation-building project of assimilating the "underclass" and the First Nations overlapped in design, in practice the two undertakings might also diverge, as white girls were usually seen as more easily transformed into new, model citizens. Not only did colonialism in the later twentieth century increasingly create a context in which Native girls were vulnerable to state surveillance, but once incarcerated, they were assessed through a racist lens as more primitive, unreachable, and unreformable. Irreconcilable cultural differences were present in the contact between white experts and Native girls in OTSG, and this cultural discord was imbued with the unequal power relations of race and colonialism. The treatment of Aboriginal girls was never simply a question of cultural misunderstanding,151 for subsuming the judgments made about them were the social relations of colonialism, interlocked with the gender and class biases already inherent in the juvenile justice system. 62
The results could be profoundly tragic. At its worst, institutionalization created alienated, angry, and sometimes violent or self-destructive girls.152 In their attempts to deal with the derision they faced, Native girls drew on the cultural resources at hand, practicing "conservation withdrawal," though a minority also spoke and acted out against a regime they found alien and unjust. When a young woman, whose own experience of domestic violence was barely acknowledged, was asked during her second court appearance, "why do you [continue to] drink?" her response was "because I'm going to be sent away."153 Although her reply was probably interpreted by the court as impassive fatalism, she actually had a very astute understanding that, once in conflict with the criminal justice system, she was unlikely to escape from its clutches. The best that many girls could hope for was that the penal authorities' sense of superiority and their belief that reformation was futile would lead them to abandon their assimilative project and let girls return to their homes, families, or reserves. However problematic or unhappy these home environments were, they usually offered more hope of a second chance than incarceration in a training school. 63
Joan Sangster is a professor of history at the Frost Centre for Canadian Studies and Native Studies at Trent University. She thanks the participants in the SSHRC-sponsored Women and Criminal Justice Workshop at Trent University, May 1999, for their valuable comments on this article and Ramona Sutherland for her generous counsel on Ojibwa language and culture.

1 John Milloy, A National Crime: The Canadian Government and the Residential School System (Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999), 33.

2 John Comaroff and Jean Comaroff, Ethnicity and the Historical Imagination (Boulder: Westview Press, 1992), 289.

3 The literature on these endeavors is extensive. For some examples, see Sarah Carter, "First Nations Women of Prairie Canada in the Early Reserve Years, the 1870s to the 1920s: A Preliminary Inquiry," and Jo-Anne Fiske, "Gender and the Paradox of Residential Education in Carrier Society," in Women of the First Nations: Power, Wisdom, Strength, ed. Christine Miller and Patricia Chuckryk (Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1996), 51–76, 167–82; Pamela White, "Restructuring the Domestic Sphere--Prairie Indian Women on Reserves: Image, Ideology and State Policy, 1880–1930" (Ph.D. diss., McGill, 1987); Mariana Valverde, The Age of Light, Soap, and Water: Moral Reform in English Canada, 1885–1925 (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1991); Carolyn Strange, Toronto's Girl Problem: The Perils and Pleasures of the City, 1880–1930 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1996); J. R. Miller, Shingwauk's Vision: A History of Native Residential Schools (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1966); Dorothy Chunn, "Regulating the Poor in Ontario: From Police Courts to Family Courts," Canadian Journal of Family Law 6.1 (1987): 85–102.

4 Carolyn Strange and Tina Loo, Making Good: Law and Moral Regulation in Canada, 1876–1939 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press), 149.

5 Patricia Monture, "A Vicious Circle: Child Welfare and the First Nations," Canadian Journal of Women and the Law 3.1 (1989): 1–17; Emily Carasco, "Canadian Native Children:

Have Child Welfare Laws Broken the Circle?" Canadian Journal of Family Law 1 (1986): 111–21; Marlee Kline, "Complicating the Ideology of Motherhood: Child Welfare Law and First Nations Women," in Mothers in Law: Feminist Theory and the Legal Regulation of Motherhood, ed. Martha Albertson Fineman and Isabel Karpin (New York: Columbia University Press, 1995), 118–41. Custody battles persist to this day. See Kirk Makin, "Native Loses Custody Fight with White Couple," Globe and Mail, 4 May 1999.

6 For this issue, see Sherene H. Razack, Looking White People in the Eye: Gender, Race and Culture in Courtrooms and Classrooms (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1998), 8–10. For a discussion of race and feminist theory, see Adrien K. Wing, ed., Critical Race Feminism: A Reader (New York: New York University Press, 1997); Marlee Kline, "Race, Racism and Feminist Legal Theory," Harvard Women's Law Journal 12 (1989):115–50. On ideology, see Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, "Race, Reform, and Retrenchment: Transformation and Legitimation in Antidiscrimination Law," Harvard Law Review 101.7 (May 1988): 1331–87.

7 In an examination of First Nations, Asian Canadian, and Carribean Canadian women, Enakshi Dua argues that hostility to such women was more destructive and totalizing than the more benign regulation of white working-class women because women of color were considered a "triple threat to the nation." Enakshi Dua, "Beyond Diversity: Exploring the Ways in Which the Discourse of Race Has Shaped the Institution of the Nuclear Family," in Scratching the Surface: Canadian Anti-Racist Feminist Thought, ed. Enakshi Dua and Angela Robertson (Toronto: Women's Press, 1999), 237–60, especially 255. In slight contrast, Vic Satzewich and Li Zong argue that assimilation, not genocide, was always the intent of colonialism, though this could still produce a form of "cultural genocide." Vic Satzewich and Li Zong, "Social Control and the Historical Construction of 'Race,'" in Social Control in Canada: A Reader on the Social Construction of Deviance, ed. Bernard Schissel and Linda Mahood (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1996), 263–87.

8 David Roediger quoting Tera Hunter in "Race and the Working-Class Past in the United States: Multiple Identities and the Future of Labor History," International Review of Social History 38 (1993): 127–43.See also Razack, Looking White People in the Eye, 11–12.

9 See, for example, Patricia Hill Collins, "It's All in the Family: Intersections of Gender, Race, and Nation," Hypatia 13.3 (Summer 1998): 62–81; Kimberlé Crenshaw, "Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity, Politics and Violence Against Women of Color," Stanford Law Review 43 (July 1991): 1241–99, and "Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Class," Chicago Legal Forum (1989): 139–68.

10 Native girls could also be charged under the Indian Act, which prohibited things such as the consumption of alcohol and "profligacy." However, the other statutes provided all the latitude that judges needed. The Juvenile Delinquents Act, chap. 40, 7–8 Edward VII, 1908; Statutes of Ontario, The Training School Act, chap. 51, 1939. On the Juvenile Delinquent Act, see Canadian Welfare Council, The Juvenile Court in Law (Ottawa: Canadian Welfare Council, 1941); Neil Sutherland, Children in English-Canadian Society: Framing the Twentieth-Century Consensus (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1978); Marge Reitsma-Street, "More Control than Care: A Critique of Historical and Contemporary Laws for Delinquency and the Neglect of Children in Ontario," Canadian Journal of Women and the Law 3.1 (1989–90): 510–30; Jean Trépanier, "Origins of the Juvenile Delinquents Act of 1908," in Dimensions of Childhood: Essays on the History of Children and Youth in Canada, ed. Russell Smandych, Gordon Dodds, and Alvin Esau (Winnipeg: Legal Research Institute, 1991), 205–32. On the 1924 amendment adding sexual immorality, see Bruno Théorêt, "Régulation juridique pénale des mineures et discrimination à l'égard des filles: la clause de 1924 amendment la Loi sur les jeunes délinquents," Canadian Journal of Women and the Law 4 (1990–91): 539–55. The division of powers made the JDA in Canada somewhat different than U.S. counterparts, but for discussion of the latitude in American juvenile justice with regards to sexual immorality, see early comments by Paul Tappan, Delinquent Girls in Court (New York: Columbia University Press, 1947) and later analysis by Steven Schlossman and Stephanie Wallach, "The Crime of Precocious Sexuality: Female Juvenile Delinquency in the Progressive Era," Harvard Educational Review 48 (Feb. 1978): 65–95; Meda Chesney-Lind, "Judicial Enforcement of the Female Sex Role, the Family Court and Female Delinquency," Issues in Criminology 8 (1973): 51–70.

11 Although they were usually released by seventeen, girls could be under the supervision of OTSG until they were twenty-one. In 1949, this was changed to eighteen.

12 As well as the extensive administrative records for training schools, I examined forty-seven individual case files of First Nations girls who spent time in training school, almost all of them at OTSG. These were compared to my larger study of 350 OTSG case files, as well as files on girls' delinquency on reserves in the Department of Indian Affairs (DIA) papers.

13 As Richard Evans points out, historians have long attempted to interrogate the limitations of their sources. See Evans, In Defence of History (London: Granta Books, 1997), 147.

14 For some discussion of this issue, see Ruth Roach Pierson, "Experience, Difference, Dominance and Voice in the Writing of Canadian Women's History," in Writing Women's History: International Perspectives, ed. Karen Offen, Ruth Roach Pierson, and Jane Rendall (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1991), 79–106, and Rahda Jhappan, "Post-Modern Race and Gender Essentialism or a Post-Mortem of Scholarship," Studies in Political Economy 51 (Fall 1996): 15–63.

15 For example, Mary Odem, Delinquent Daughters: Protecting and Policing Adolescent Female Sexuality in the United States, 1885–1920 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1995); Ruth Alexander, The Girl Problem: Female Sexual Delinquency in New York, 1880–1930 (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1995); Strange, Toronto's Girl Problem.

16 The literature on this is vast, encompassing labor, immigration, and criminal justice history, to name some areas. See, for example, Walter Tarnopolsky, Discrimination and The Law in Canada (Toronto: Richard De Boo, 1982); James W. St. G. Walker, "Race" Rights and the Law in the Supreme Court of Canada, Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History (Waterloo: Wilfred Laurier University Press, 1997), 12–50; Constance Backhouse, Colour Coded: A Legal History of Racism in Canada, 1900–1950 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1999).

17 Ian Haney Lopez, White by Law: The Legal Construction of Race (New York: New York University Press, 1996). See also Carol A. Aylward, Canadian Critical Race Theory: Racism and the Law (Halifax: Fernwood, 1999). Because I take the construction of both "race" and words like "immorality" for granted, I have not used quotation marks throughout the article.

18 Razack, Looking White People in the Eye; Floya Anthias, "Race and Class Revisited," Sociological Review 28.1 (1990):19–42; Floya Anthias and Nira Yuval-Davis, eds., Racialized Boundaries: Race, Nation, Gender, Colour, and Class and the Anti-Racist Struggle (London: Routledge, 1992); Anne Stoler, "Making Empire Respectable: The Politics of Race and Sexual Morality in Twentieth-Century Colonial Cultures," American Ethnologist 16.4 (1989): 634–59; Constance Backhouse, "The White Women's Labor Laws: Anti-Chinese Racism in Early Twentieth-Century Canada," Law and History Review 14 (1996): 315–68. Sexuality and race also converged in eugenic discourse and legislation. See Angus McLaren, Our Own Master Race: Eugenics in Canada, 1884–1945 (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1990).

19 The literature here is extensive. For some discussion of the imposition of sexual and familial codes, including by means of the Indian Act, see Kathleen Jamieson, Indian Women and the Law in Canada: Citizens Minus (Ottawa: Ministry of Supply and Services, 1978); Janet Silman, Enough Is Enough: Aboriginal Women Speak Out (Toronto: Women's Press, 1987); Sylvia Van Kirk, Many Tender Ties: Women in Fur Trade Society (Winnipeg: Watson and Dwyer, 1979); Karen Anderson, Chain Her by One Foot: The Subjugation of Women in Seventeenth-Century New France (New York: Routledge, 1991); Carol Devens, Countering Colonization: Native American Women and the Great Lakes Missions, 1630–1900 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992); Jean Barman, "Taming Aboriginal Sexuality: Gender, Power and Race in British Columbia," B. C. Studies 115/116 (1997–98): 237–67.

20 Scott Clark, "Aboriginal Customary Law Literature Review," unpublished paper for the Manitoba Public Inquiry into the Administration of Justice for Aboriginal Peoples, 1990; Bryan Keon-Cohen, "Native Justice in Australia, Canada and the U.S.A.: A Comparative Analysis," in Native People and Justice in Canada part 2, ed. Canadian Legal Aid Bulletin (1982): 187–258; Vic Satzewich, "Where's the Beef? Cattle Killing, Rations Policy and First Nations 'Criminality' in Southern Alberta, 1892–95," Journal of Historical Sociology 9.2 (1996): 188–212; R. C. Macleod and Heather Rollason, "Restrain the Lawless 'Savage': Native Defendants in Criminal Courts of the North West Territories," Journal of Historical Sociology 10.2 (1997): 157–83; Tina Loo, "Tonto's Due: Law, Culture and Colonization in British Columbia," in Hamar Forster and John McLaren, eds., Essays in the History of Canadian Law: British Columbia and the Yukon (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1995), 128–70.

21 Patricia Monture-Angus, Thunder in My Soul: A Mohawk Woman Speaks (Halifax: Fernwood Books, 1995); Rupert Ross, Dancing with a Ghost: Exploring Indian Reality (Markam: Octopus Books, 1992); Kjikeptin Alex Denny, "Beyond the Marshall Inquiry: An Alternative Mi'kmaq Worldview and Justice System," in Elusive Justice: Beyond the Marshall Inquiry, ed. Joy Mannette (Halifax: Fernwood Books, 1992), 103–8; E. J. Dickson-Gilmore, "Finding the Ways of the Ancestors: Cultural Change and the Invention of Tradition in the Development of Separate Legal Systems," Canadian Journal of Criminology (July-Oct. 1992): 479–502; Jo-Anne Fiske, "From Customary Law to Oral Traditions," B.C. Studies 115/116 (1997–98): 267–88; Joan Ryan, Doing Things the Right Way: Dene Traditional Justice in Lac La Martre, NWT (Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 1995).

22 Indeed, locating Aboriginal girls in the records of OTSG is difficult for this reason. However, the government did try to record the number of "Indians" as opposed to "whites" in the school. Whites were separated from three other "races," namely, "Hebrews, Negroes and Indians." Statistics on the "race" (later "nationality") of training school inmates were published in Ontario, Annual Report of the Minister of Public Welfare and, after 1938, Annual Report of Industrial Schools and Training Schools (whereas they were not for reformatories and prisons). However, the actual files of Native girls are not marked and are therefore difficult to locate in the (sometimes chaotic) microfilmed collection. Once the federal government agreed to pay the fee for Indians with official federal status, this was noted in the register, allowing me to locate some files. However, not all First Nations girls (even those from reserves) had official Indian status. Some girls were Métis, and some may have lived off reserves and been paid for by the municipality even if they did have status.

23 The average number of Native admissions yearly for the period 1950–59 was 7 percent. Census of Canada, 1941, vol. 1, table 11, lists Indians as 0.8 percent of the Ontario population; Census of Canada, 1951, vol. 2, table 32, lists Indians as 0.8 percent of the Ontario population.

24 The highest number of Native admissions to St. Mary's was 9.3 percent of admissions in 1958; on average they were 5.8 percent of St. Mary admissions in the 1950s. Ontario, Annual Report on Training Schools, 1950–59.

25 Archives of Ontario (AO), RG 60, Ontario Training School for Girls, (OTSG) case file 2197, 1950s.

26 AO, OTSG case file 840, 1940s.

27 Training schools were overcrowded because some were lent to the federal government for military use, and they were then relocated in smaller quarters. OTSG had to move from its home in Galt to smaller buildings in Cobourg, Ontario. The Board did repeat this recommendation in the 1950s, even after OTSG returned to its own quarters. Ontario, Annual Report on Training Schools, Report of Training School Advisory Board, 1940, 1943, 1944 (for Whitton's recommendation that both "defectives" and "Indians" be placed in different institutions) and 1955.

28 In fact, this had been happening on an informal basis before then.

29 AO, OTSG case file 1929, 1950s. This, of course, was linked to the Indian Act and its attempts to designate and regulate Native identity according to the colonizer's gender norms. Jamieson, Indian Women and the Law; Winona Stevenson, "Colonialism and First Nations Women in Canada," in Scratching the Surface, 49–82.

30 Maysie Rogers, "Indian Affairs," Canadian Welfare, 1 March 1951, 18.

31 Joint Committee of the Senate and House of Commons, 1946–48, quoted in H. B. Hawthorn, A Survey of the Indians of Canada (Ottawa: Indian Affairs Branch, 1967), pt. 1, 326.

32 Some CAS services did cover Native communities, but this was not uniform. Ibid, 327.

33 Hawthorn, A Survey, 329.

34 Mary Woodward, "Juvenile Delinquency among Indian Girls" (M.A. thesis, University of British Columbia, 1949), 3, 12.

35 Peggy Pascoe argues that nineteenth-century "biological" or "scientific" racism was challenged in social science and legal discourses after the 1920s by those who argued that "culture," not race, was all important. However, these theories laid the basis for a new "modernist ideology" that reinscribed racism in new ways. Peggy Pascoe, "Miscegenation Law, Court Cases, and Ideologies of 'Race' in Twentieth-Century America," in Sex, Love, Race: Crossing Boundaries in North American History, ed. Martha Hodes (New York: New York University Press, 1999), 464–90.

36 Woodward, "Juvenile Delinquency," 12, 18.

37 Vestiges of "biological racism" did linger on. "Anne is dark skinned and shows her racial characteristics," wrote one penal worker; "she is childish, likes to play with dolls and be outside." AO, OTSG File 875, 1940s. (Dolls were undoubtedly related to her youth.) Some anthropological studies of this period reinforced similar assumptions; they noted that acculturation of Natives had led to distant parents and more "passive" children, that communities were in a state of disintegration, and that patterns of illegitimacy prevailed despite norms to the contrary. John Honigmann, "Social Disintegration in Five Northern Communities," Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology 2 (1965): 199–214; Philip Bock, "Patterns of Illegitimacy on a Canadian Indian Reserve: 1860–1960," Journal of Marriage and the Family 126 (May 1964): 143–48; Stephen Boggs, "Culture Change and the Personality of Ojibwa Children," American Anthropologist 60 (1958): 47–52.

38 Stella Hostbjor, "Social Services to the Indian Unmarried Mother," Child Welfare (May 1961): 7–9.

39 On working-class girls and sex delinquency, see Indiana Matters, "Sinners or Sinned Against? Historical Aspects of Female Juvenile Delinquency in British Columbia," in Not Just Pin Money: Selected Essays on the History of Women's Work in British Columbia, ed. Barbara Latham and Roberta Pazdro (Victoria: Camosun College, 1984), 265–77; Alexander, The Girl Problem. Claims that promiscuous or amoral sexuality in Native cultures had to be abolished for the sake of "civilization" had been voiced since the nineteenth century: Barman, "Taming Aboriginal Sexuality"; Katherine M. B. Osburn, "To Build Up the Morals of the Tribe: Southern Ute Women's Sexual Behaviour and the Office of Indian Affairs, 1895–1932," Journal of Women's History 9.3 (1997): 11–26; Sarah Carter, "Categories and Terrains of Exclusion: Constructing the 'Indian' Woman in the Early Settlement Era in Western Canada," Great Plains Quarterly 13.3 (1993): 147–61. For a more international analysis of the anthropological gaze on indigenous women, see Sharon Tiffany and Kathleen Adams, The Wild Woman: An Inquiry into the Anthropology of an Idea (Cambridge, Mass.: Schenkman Publishing Company, 1985).

40 National Archives of Canada (NAC), RG 10 (Dept. of Indian Affairs, or DIA), vol. 8464, File 901/23–21, pt. 2, "Social Workers Report, Nov. 1954, B. C." My thanks to Jessa Chapuk-Hall for showing me this reference.

41 NAC, RG 10, vol. 100680, File 43 18–16. Indian Agent for Nipissing to DIA, c. 1948.

42 Mary Woodward, "Juvenile Delinquency."

43 NAC, RG 10, DIA, vol. 10721, File 484, 18–28. Letter from Chapleau Agency to Mercer Superintendent, 22 Aug. 1966.

44 NAC, RG 10, vol. 6938, File 471/29–24, pt. 3, Helen Martins, Report for Southern Ontario, Aug. 1953.

45 Clare Brant, "Native Ethics and Rules of Behaviour," Canadian Journal of Psychiatry 35 (1990): 534–39.

46 Maysie Rogers suggested that assimilation could mean equality but not the disappearance of Indians' "special characteristics." See Rogers, "Indian Affairs," 21. Rogers also suggested that treaties needed to be respected and discriminatory attitudes of Canadians altered. Such views began to appear more in the 1960s.

47 U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary, "Report on Juvenile Delinquency Among the Indians" (Washington, 1956), 8.

48 Rogers, "Indian Affairs," 23. By the mid-1960s, social work writing is starting to stress community development and the need to involve Native peoples in the delivery of social services. See "Indian and Métis Conference," Canadian Welfare (March-April, 1963): 124.

49 NAC, RG 10, DIA, vol. 11437, File 494, 18–4. Letter of Indian Agent Swartman to Cannon Sanderson, Red Lake, Ontario, 1950s.

50 AO, RG 20, container 46, Director of Psychology and Neurology to the Minister, 11 Feb. 1958.

51 Dorothy Chunn, "Secrets and Lies: The Criminalization of Incest and the (Re)formation of the 'Private' in British Columbia, 1890–1940," paper presented at Canadian Law and Society Association, St. Johns, June 1997; Joan Sangster, "Masking and Unmasking the Sexual Abuse of Children: Violence against Children in the 'Badlands' of Ontario, 1916–30," Journal of Family History 25.4 (2000): 504–26.

52 AO, OTSG case file 2353, 1950s.

53 Ibid.

54 On the material and social context of criminalization, and similar examples to these of non-Native girls, see Joan Sangster, "Girls in Conflict with the Law: Exploring the Construction of Female 'Delinquency' in Ontario, 1940–60," Canadian Journal of Women and the Law 12.1 (2000): 24–25.

55 AO, OTSG case file 1666, 1950s.

56 This perception was very common for many OTSG girls; immoral mothers in particular (i.e., those who had affairs, sometimes even those who lived in common-law marriages) were seen as potentially infecting their daughters.

57 If the charge was "incorrigibility" under the Training School Act, the committal usually detailed one or more precise problems. Efforts at sexual containment were central to the use of delinquency laws, and the project of girls training schools in this era. Sangster, "Girls in Conflict with the Law"; Tamara Myers, "The Voluntary Delinquent," Canadian Historical Review 80.2 (1999): 242–68; Franca Iacovetta, "Parents, Daughters, and Family Court Intrusions into Working-Class Life," in On the Case: Explorations in Social History, ed. Franca Iacovetta and Wendy Mitchinson (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1998), 312–37. Theft was only a concern in a minority of cases. This stands in contrast to the study of a mixed-race girls reform school in South Africa where African girls were more likely to be policed for theft, white girls for sexual immorality. Linda Chisholm, "Gender and Deviance in South African Industrial Schools and Reformatories for Girls, 1911–34," in Women and Gender in South Africa to 1945, ed. Cheryl Walker (Cape Town: David Philip, 1990), 293–312.

58 AO, OTSG case file 1647, 1950s.

59 AO, OTSG case file 2272, 1950s.

60 As current authors note, the stereotype of Native peoples as alcoholics still has an effect on court cases involving women. See Teressa Nahanee, "Sexual Assault of Inuit Females: A Comment on 'Cultural Bias,'" in Confronting Sexual Assault: A Decade of Legal and Social Change, ed. Julian Roberts and Renate M. Mohr (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1994), 192–204.

61 AO, RG 20, container 47, Memo of Director of Psychology and Neurology for the Minister, 11 Feb. 1958. This memo also indicates that the province was well aware of overincarceration: "we have long been aware that [OTSG] . . . contains a disproportionate number of Indian and part Indians, most committed to protect them against our civilization, but some . . . have a high nuisance value in communities bordering on Reserves and they are committed to our Department to get rid of them."

62 Odem, Delinquent Daughters; Joan Sangster, "Incarcerating 'Bad Girls': The Regulation of Sexuality Through the Female Refuges Act in Ontario, 1920–45," Journal of the History of Sexuality 7.2 (October 1996): 239–75.

63 AO, OTSG case file 525, 1940s.

64 AO, OTSG case file 840, 1940s.

65 Native peoples might also engage in customary marriages, rather than Christian ones, though these also tended to stress monogamous commitment. For some discussion of accommodation to Christian ideas concerning sexuality and marriage, see Barman, "Taming Aboriginal Sexuality"; Sally Weaver, "The Iroquois: The Consolidation of the Grand River Reserve in the Mid-Nineteenth Century," and "The Iroquois: The Grand River Reserve, 1875–1945," in Aboriginal Ontario: Historical Perspectives on the First Nations, ed. Edward Rogers and Donald Smith (Toronto: Dundurn Press, 1994), 213–57; Peter Schmaltz, The Ojibwa of Southern Ontario (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1996); Anastasia M. Shkilnyk, A Poison Stronger than Love: The Destruction of an Ojibwa Community (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1985); Regina Flannery, Ellen Smallboy: Glimpses of a Cree Woman's Life (Montreal: McGill-Queens University Press, 1995); Edward Rogers, The Round Lake Ojibwa (Toronto: Royal Ontario Museum, 1962).

66 In almost one quarter of the First Nations cases in OTSG, the girls made direct claims that they were sexually assaulted by nonfamily or family members. In another four cases, more indirect references were made to violence or abuse existing within the family.

67 AO, OTSG case file 2115, 1950s.

68 AO, OTSG case file 1595, 1950s.

69 AO, OTSG case file 265, 1930s.

70 Loo, "Tonto's Due." See also Robin Brownlie, "A Fatherly Eye: Two Indian Agents on Georgian Bay, 1918–39" (Ph.D. diss., University of Toronto, 1996), and on political integration, Menno Boldt, Surviving as Indians: The Challenge of Self-Government (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1993). For a related view of American Tribal Courts, see Frederick Hoxie, "Towards a 'New' North American Indian Legal History," Symposium on Contemporary and Historical Issues in Legal Pluralism: Prairie and Northern Canada, November 1992 (Faculty of Law, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg), 7.

71 AO, OTSG case file 1694, 1950s. It is difficult to know how important the issue of religion was since there was only a passing reference to it: "the grandmother is with the Church of Jesus Christ . . . P is interested in another mission and also wanted to attend a Longhouse wake."

72 This dilemma connects to contemporary controversies concerning the criminal justice system and violence within Native families. Some Native women have advocated "healing [rather than] the adversarial process" of (Euro-Canadian) courts to deal with domestic violence. They recognize the need to place violence within a context of racism and colonialism but do not wish to "excuse" men's use of violence, which the courts sometimes do. See Ontario Native Women's Association, Breaking Free: a proposal for change to aboriginal family violence (Thunder Bay: Ontario Native Women's Association, 1989); Jennifer Koshan, "The Sounds of Silence: The Public/Private Dichotomy, Violence, and Aboriginal Women," in Challenging the Public/Private Divide: Feminism, Law and Public Policy, ed. Susan Boyd (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1997): 87–109; Nahanee, "Sexual Assault of Innuit Females," 192–204.

73 AO, OTSG case file 265, 1930s.

74 AO, OTSG case file 2105, 1950s.

75 The average age of entry was fourteen for Native girls, Fifteen for non-Native. At least 60 percent of the OTSG First Nations girls had reserve origins or connections.

76 AO, OTSG case file 1886, 1950s.

77 Often, what could be seen as a virtue is interpreted as a vice. For example, one probation report complained that a Native girl was not learning the value of saving her earnings, as "the family pools their money" and the wider sharing of resources meant that there was "always someone being helped." AO, OTSG case file 2050, 1950s.

78 AO, OTSG case file 2076, 1950s.

79 AO, OTSG case file 1666, 1950s.

80 AO, OTSG case file 1555, 1950s.

81 AO, OTSG case file 2115, 1950s. In this case Indian Affairs was not even given an adequate chance to find alternative care for her before she was committed.

82 James Frideres, Native Peoples in Canada: Contemporary Conflicts (Scarborough: Prentice Hall, 1993), 148–52. In 1966, 69 percent of Ontario Native peoples still lived on reserves, 30 percent of Indian bands were in "remote" areas, and 45 per cent in rural areas.

83 Because of the small sample used from OTSG (and the necessity of keeping all inmates' identities confidential), I do not believe it is useful to detail the exact reserves girls came from. Also, a girl may be listed as a status member of a northern band but be arrested in a northern city, so that it is not clear when she left the reserve. The girls came from the major First Nations located in Ontario, but geographically, there were fewer from eastern Ontario and few from large cities like Toronto and Hamilton.

84 Joan Sangster, "Criminalizing the Colonized: Ontario Native Women Confront the Criminal Justice System, 1920–60," Canadian Historical Review 80.1 (March 1999): 32–60. In three of the OTSG cases of First Nations girls, it is clear the Indian agent initiated the charge; in one case he supported it strongly. In other cases, he was sometimes called on to testify.

85 AO, OTSG case file 875, 1940s.

86 AO, OTSG case file 2085, 1950s.

87 Ibid.

88 Given the high numbers of cases originating in the far north, the claim that girls were "lonesome for [their own] people" was common. See NAC, RG 10, vol. 11438, File 494/18–28, pt. 2, Letter from Probation Officer in Toronto to Superintendent of Sioux Lookout Agency, 1962.

89 AO, OTSG case file 1647, 1950s.

90 AO, OTSG case file 2170, 1950s.

91 Clare Brant's training was in mainstream psychiatry, and so, for instance, he accepts some prevailing definitions of delinquency, such as the equation of illegitimate pregnancies with girls' delinquency. But Brant also developed new theories, based on his own medical and political experiences. He was influenced by his wide reading of anthropological literature, including anthropologists such as Rosalie Wax and Robert Thomas, "American Indians and White People," Phylon 22.4 (1961): 305–17. His writing, and some of the articles he used, were deposited in the Trent University Archives after his death in 1995. The writing was collected in an unpublished manuscript: Trent University Archives (TUA), Clare Brant, Collection of Chapters, Lectures, Workshops and Thoughts. Brant also influenced the writing of Rupert Ross, Dancing with a Ghost and Returning to the Teaching: Exploring Aboriginal Justice (Toronto: Penguin, 1996).

92 TUA, Brant, Collection. Clare Brant and P. G. R. Patterson, "Native Child Rearing Practices, Their Role in Mental Health," unpublished paper, 108.

93 Brant's work was politically important as it posited an alternative understanding of Aboriginality, countering a pejorative identity for Native peoples. As Kay Anderson argues, however, we should also avoid "reifying" aspects of Aboriginal identity, which is not an unchanging "stable heritage from the past" but a cultural and political creation, framed by and within asymmetrical power relations. Kay Anderson, "Constructing Geographies: 'Race,' Place and the Making of Sydney's Aboriginal Redfern," in Constructions of Race, Place and Nation, ed. Peter Jackson and Jan Penrose (London: UCL Press, 1993), 96.

94 Brant and Patterson, "Native Child Rearing Practices," 112.

95 TUA, Brant, Collection. "Native Ethics and Rules of Behaviour."

96 Ibid., 130.

97 Carl Grandstaff, Wilda Galloway, Joanne Nixon, "Racial and Cultural Identification among Canadian Indian Children," Phylon 34 (1973): 368–77. This study was modeled on one pioneered by Afro-American psychologists Kenneth Clark and Maime Clark, who were trained in traditional theory but also committed to progressive racial politics. See Gerald Markowitz and David Rosner, Children, Race and Power: Kenneth and Mamie Clark's Northside Clinic (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 1996).

98 AO, OTSG case file 1666, 1950s.

99 AO, OTSG case file 1771, 1950s.

100 Brant and Patterson, "Native Child Rearing Practices," 102.

101 In Brant's view shyness was a cultural, social (possibly even biological) adaption of Native personality to their environment. The biological argument might be difficult for many researchers to accept. TUA, Brant, Collection. "Communication Patterns in Indians: Verbal and Non-Verbal," Annals of Sex Research 6.4 (1993): 259–69. See also his "Self-Esteem and Shyness," 148–53 (TUA, Brant, Collection).

102 AO, OTSG case file 1521, 1950s.

103 AO, OTSG case file 2084, 1950s.

104 AO, OTSG case file 2050, 1950s.

105 AO, OTSG case file 1519, 1950s.

106 TUA, Brant, Collection. "Communication Patterns in Indians," 31.

107 AO, OTSG case file 1694, 1950s.

108 AO, OTSG case file 2115, 1950s.Today, a more affluent white child with her experiences might be diagnosed with post-traumatic stress syndrome; this girl, however, was seen as unintelligent and vacuous.

109 "People who disagreed openly [in Native groups] were barely tolerated, avoided or dismissed." Marlene Brant Castellano, "Native Social Work Education in Canada: Issues and Adaptions," unpublished typescript, Trent University Library. Those dispensing "therapy" to many of the girls in OTSG did not see those "from a lower socio-economic background" as good subjects for "psychotherapy." AO, RG 20–148, Dept. of Reform Institutions, container 11, Tadeusz Grygier, "Social Adjustment, Personality and Behaviour in Ontario Training Schools," 1966.

110 AO, OTSG case file 1820, 1950s.

111 AO, OTSG case file 2050, 1950s.

112 AO, OTSG case file 1428, 1950s.

113 For this argument in relation to health care, see Mary-Ellen Kelm, Colonizing Bodies: Aboriginal Health and Healing in British Columbia, 1900–50 (Vancouver: UBC Press, 1998), 175.

114 James Trent, Inventing the Feeble Minded: A History of Mental Retardation in the U.S. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994); Steven Noll, "The Sterilization of Willie Mallory," in "Bad Mothers": The Politics of Blame in Twentieth-Century America, ed. Molly Ladd-Taylor and Lauri Umansky (New York: New York University Press, 1998), 41–57; Nicole Hann Rafter, "Introduction," in White Trash: The Eugenic Family Studies, 1877–1919, ed. Nicole Hann Rafter (Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1988); McLaren, Our Own Master Race. On the reproduction of class and patriarchal relations in forensic testing, see Dorothy Chunn and Robert Menzies, "Gender, Madness and Crime: The Reproduction of Patriarchal and Class Relations in a Psychiatric Court Clinic," Journal of Human Justice 1.2 (1990): 33–54.

115 Jennifer Stephen, "'Factory Girls' and the Toronto Psychiatric Clinic," in Law, Society and the State: Essays in Modern Legal History, ed. Susan Binnie and Louis Knafla (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1995), 405–37. Stephen deals with the period of eugenic popularity in the 1920s. For similar comments on psychiatry, class, and sexuality, see Elizabeth Lunbeck, The Psychiatric Persuasion: Knowledge, Gender and Power in Modern America (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994), chap. 7.

116 Kelm, Colonizing Bodies, 174.

117 AO, OTSG case file 1595, 1950s.

118 AO, OTSG case file 1647, 1950s.

119 My thanks to Ramona Sutherland for sharing her knowledge of Ojibwa with me on this issue.

120 AO, OTSG case file 2353, 1950s.

121 AO, OTSG case file 1771, 1950s.

122 AO, OTSG case file 1172, 1950s.

123 NAC, RG 10 DIA, vol. 10721, File 484, 18–28, "Juvenile Delinquency," circa 1960.

124 AO, OTSG case file 2353, 1950s.

125 AO, OTSG case file 1666, 1950s.

126 AO, OTSG case files 1666, 1555, 1694, 1950s.

127 The terms "awls" and "runs" were those used by staff and government officials. On regulation and resistance in other reform schools, see Kerry Wimhurst, "Control and Resistance: Reformatory Girls in Late Nineteenth-Century South Australia," Journal of Social History 18 (1984): 273–87; Susan Cahn, "Spirited Youth of Fiends Incarnate: The Samarcand Arson Case and Female Adolescence in the American South," Journal of Women's History 9.4 (1998): 152–80; Tamara Myers and Joan Sangster, "Retorts, Runaways and Riots: Resistence in Reform Schools for Girls in Ontario and Quebec, 1920–60," Journal of Social History 2001 (Spring 2001): 669–97.

128 AO, OTSG case file 2170, 1950s. As one doctor wrote, "Like other Indian girls, if placed early in the institution the main problem is continued awls." In this case, she was far from home in the North. Although statistics were kept on awls, these were not broken down by race, so it is difficult to test out his claim.

129 AO, OTSG case file 1353, 1950s.

130 AO, OTSG case file 2075, 1950s.

131 Brant and Patterson, "Native Child Rearing Practices," 112.

132 Both Native and non-Native inmates were almost never sentenced to OTSG for violent behavior but became violent once in OTSG.

133 Himani Bannerji, Thinking Through: Essays on Feminism, Marxism and Anti-Racism (Toronto: Women's Press, 1995), 37. While these observations relate to racism, is it possible that they also provide some insight into other, non-Native OTSG girls who too felt diminished, stigmatized, and denigrated?

134 AO, OTSG case file 875, 1940s.

135 AO, OTSG case file 1353, 1950s.

136 Ibid.

137 Along with Ellen, there is evidence that another inmate of Galt attempted suicide after her release, when on parole. See AO, RG 20 D-13, Mercer Reformatory for Females, case file 10395, 1950s.

138 TUA, Brant, Collection. "Suicide in the North American Indian: Causes and Prevention," 170–81.

139 TUA, Brant, Collection. "Inquiry--Suicides at the Prison for Women." 205.

140 AO, OTSG case file 1572, 1950s.

141 On the disjuncture between medical and penal staff, see Stephen Watson, "Applying Foucault: Some Problems Encountered in the Application of Foucault's Methods to the History of Medicine in Prisons," in Reassessing Foucault: Power, Medicine and the Body, ed. Colin Jones and Roy Porter (London: Routledge, 1994), 132.

142 Ibid.

143 AO, OTSG case file 1555, 1950s.

144 AO, OTSG case file 1666, 1950s.

145 AO, OTSG case file 1555, 1950s.

146 AO, OTSG case file 1929, 1950s.

147 AO, OTSG case file 525, 1940s.

148 AO, OTSG case file 1666, 1950s.

149 In this very small sample, it is clearest in two cases involving Haudenosaunee peoples.

150 Comaroff and Comaroff, Ethnicity and the Historical Imagination, 289.

151 Sherene Razack discusses the problems of "talking culture" in Looking White People in the Eye: "power should not be subsumed under culture," 61.

152 It is important to note that "individual" tragedies can spawn collective consequences for the children (and therefore communities) of those who were institutionalized, akin to the "residential school syndrome" that Native communities are now trying to heal.

153 AO, OTSG case file 2340, 1950s.

Anonymous said...

To ANYONE STUPID enough to disregard the aboriginal people of this country think again. Let us not forget the horror of what the government did to them EVER. They are working with all to fight against Bill 210, give them respect, treat them with dignity and let us not believe the lies about them from the government any more then we would the bloody evil culprits at the CAS!!!!

Anonymous said...

Millions of Mothers "Chose" Adoption - Was it "Something in the Water?"
by Anne Patterson, Adoptee and Professional Searcher

What is "non-identifying" information? Non-identifying information is a background and history of one’s natural mother and family at the time of the adoption surrender that has been interpreted from the files of the Children's Aid Society (CAS), sometimes as much as 5 times before the individual receives it.

Social workers during the time of the adoption surrender had a mission under the "guise" of an interview to convince, coerce and encourage mothers to surrender their babies. Often portraying a life-time of poverty, neglect and misery and inducing fear, shame and humiliation on the vulnerable mother to which they were assigned these files are questionable at best. Several mothers have reported to me that these interviews were more emotional sentencing sessions in which privileged paid government henchmen were "professionals" in convincing women that they were unfit, unworthy and incapable of raising their own flesh and blood.

In addition, workers heavily skirted laws, and omitted any information that would enable anyone to raise their own child. Under the guise of "help," social workers undertook the conquest of family separations, recording what they wanted with little regard for accuracy, honesty or truth. Now the same agencies are under law supposed to release what we call "non-identifying information" based on the files of these interviews with mothers, fathers and others. Records were a loosely based written recording of a social workers views of one’s mother with most not knowing the mother except for a few hours of conversation yet the "non-id" continues to be written as if the CAS is an expert into the psyche and feelings of mothers and others involved.

Governments refused information well into the 1980’s. What we have now is supposed to satisfy what ignorant, power hungry workers merely call "curiosity" as if they know what it means to be amputated from your own family? The nature of non-identifying information is tossed around like a weapon of fear to keep those effected under the thumb of secrecy and lies. To justify this haphazard mockery of justice these so called professionals skirt authenticity and truth under the argument of something that they call "confidentiality". In truth no mother in North America ever signed such an agreement nor were they promised confidentiality yet that is continually and recklessly preached by these agencies. Confidentiality was in as much as the neighbors not being able to see records much like a doctor’s confidentiality. Women did not ask for this, nor did they or are they responsible for closed records today yet CAS agencies distort this fact blaming mothers for closed records which is grossly unfair. The government created the archaic failed adoption experiment before 1927 and they are clearly responsible for the human right's abuse of closed records.

Sealed records were implemented at the behest of the Children’s Aid Society who I personally view more as the Child Abduction Society based on 14 years of experience.Today the "confidentiality" argument is just another weapon to shame, blame and silence mothers while dividing them from their own children conveniently side-stepping the role of the agencies involved.

Today, so-called professionals are in charge of reviewing ancient files devised by narrow-minded judgmental strangers who sat with our mothers at best for a few hours - yet who in their alleged wisdom purport to know who they are? Most agencies throw at best small morsels of information, all carefully screened for one thing: to not ever in this lifetime expose the truth of what the CAS did to mothers or any of us, and to ensure that it is written in a way to make the mother guilty-as-charged and to be seen as having a choice in the matter. Of note is that of every mother that I have found in 14 years, no one had a choice and I believe them hands down over a bureaucratic agency. The depiction of mothers and fathers in the non-id is often demeaning, negative and highly insulting portraying them in any number of ways from unfit, to incapable, to many other scenarios. The adopters of course in the non-id are reported as life-rescuing saints in a reckless pitting of the natural family oppressed under the adopters.

The non-id is supposed to include a myriad of information such as occupations, religion, ethic background etc. This information varies depending on how closed-minded and archaic the agency is. From sketchy ridiculously vague accounts of a family history to pages of interpretive writings the non-id varies from place to place and in many cases is not accurate. The agencies continue to blame the mother seeing them as having lied or having not provided the information at the time of the surrender.

Let us ask ourselves why thousands of women would lie at a time when they were being coerced, manipulated and shamed into the surrender of their own baby. What motive would one have in lying about how many siblings they might have, or what their parents did for a living? Yet when the non-id is fabricated and false and people question those agencies the blame is on the mother for such things as the distortion of the most basic of facts.

It became clear to me after years of helping others search that it seemed only mothers in certain areas of Ontario and Canada had lied for decades. All the mothers must have lied to the workers in particular areas for instance as certain agencies seem to have continual problems with authenticity.

Did mothers in certain regions have a secret lying serum in the water as to conjure up information so untrue it reads as a fiction short story?

Are we to believe that these women in certain areas hated their own children so much that they orchestrated stories to never be found again often times dreading the return of their own flesh and blood?

Are we to believe that they are to this day hiding like fugitives under the Big Brother bosom of cold, government agencies in a plot to never be found again?

NO - or was it that other mothers did not seem to be lying in certain geographic areas with no explanation as to this bizarre phenomena.

I have investigated and discovered that what is written, be it truthful or lies, solely depends on how closed or open the worker is in providing human rights and our right to information.

I have learned that depending on what CAS agency you are dealing with depends on the information you get. If you have the misfortune of dealing with a dinosaur worker who was ‘there" when your mother allegedly chose adoption - the stakes rise as to the degree of inaccuracies contained in the non-id.

From a few written lines to pages of illusions, this information in its entirely must never be seen as being true, unless you have proof from the person in which it is written about that it is either true of false.

I personally find it utterly ridiculous to see motive on the part of the mother to fabricate the many lies that I have seen in the non-id and after interviewing and meeting with hundreds of mothers without question I do not believe they provided false information in the first place.

For anyone who has obtained the non-id I would encourage you to ask others who have received the non-id from the same agency if they found out if it was true. In reunion, if you discover the information is inaccurate I would not assume it was your mother that lied.

I would also suggest writing a formal complaint to the CAS about the false information. It is not only morally irreproachable that non-id is fabricated it should be illegal. It is time for the system to answer to those in which it serves and such complaints may save another person from searching for in some cases 20+ years or more due to deliberate false information written by the CAS. So inaccurate is the non-id in some areas it is like trusting a high altitude jump using an umbrella as a parachute. Use common sense and give your mother the benefit of the doubt when in search.

Finally, those warm and fuzzy statements saying that your mother "chose" adoption is just another lie to add to the mountain of illusions - No, I do not believe for a second that suddenly thousands of people made the "loving choice" to surrender their babies to cold, ruthless agencies, and I further believe that the CAS has no right in commenting as to what your mother thought at the time, or as to her choice. When in search take the information with a grain of salt, be creative, trust your instinct and carefully consider the source.

I am on the side of the mothers, not the workers who robbed them of their children in the first place! Make sure there is nothing in the water in your area as if there was let us all speak out against it!

By Anne Patterson

Anonymous said...

previous posted copied from Origins Canada.

Anonymous said...

A social worker was stab today in the city of Ham.
I saw on the news, her injury's are not serious, however, this is ALSO reason to be concerned, She looked young, and was there to apprehend a child and baby. The parents are in jail tonight, the children in care, and a social worker , I hope home and not in need of hand surgery. Has anyone benefited by the apprehension? Why is a young worker sent into a home, to apprehend children in a reported drug house.? There are many causality's, in this so called child protection sham.

And violence is NEVER the answer. Although it was mention no one knows who satrted the fight, the social worker or parents.

The Ontario government is also legislating, with out doing there home work, it against Human Rights to apprehend a child, most of what they do is indeed against the Charter. Time to think folks.

Anonymous said...

To the poster above, no the worker should not have been injured. No one with a rational mind would ever condone that type of thing. That being said, the child welfare system is a nightmare, that needs investigation.

It is time to think, as most people consider advocates of child welfare reform to be violent, when we are merely stating the truth.

One cannot totally comment on this story, but if it is true, let us judge all of this and more with a legal inquiry into all of these tales.

Just as people wish to have true reform in this GODFORSAKEN SYSTEM does not make an individual guilty of a crime.

Considering how unaccountable the CAS agencies are, one wonders if this report is accurate???

Anonymous said...

To anyone that would consider the victims of the system to condone violence is truly mistaken, for we are victims of violence ourselves by the CAS.

Anonymous said...

Those are the kinds of circumstances that are out there today with a weaker law, so let's not pretend that all of a sudden tomorrow morning we can all get up and feel good about ourselves because we've done better for the kids in Ontario. You have a record that you cannot run from in the area of children. form the minutes of the legislation,

They cannot run away from it, so they will make big bucks and so be ii.
But Please Spare of the slogans, in the best interest of the child? its better to error on the side of caution? take 1,000 children to save one, destroy 999 families ask them if its better to error on the side of caution. Risk is life people, what do you want families to do raise junior in a bubble, they are at greater risk of emotional harm at school. They are at great risk living in a province that dumps more lead and mercury in the air then any other. They are at risk of being shot by one of your so called children, ( OUR children as the Minister refers to them) how proud of the Crown Wards, she must be, great job people. NO you cannot run from it.
The very vulnerable children tell the truth the very valuable children are at great risk of being taken into care, and you have laid the ground work, for many to be taken that should be left at home. Lowered the Risk of everything and anything, read some of the crap parents get asked by social workers, its not child protection at all.

a child is at risk if your laundry is not done, there are toys on the floor, I love the puffed up news report in Hamilton, such a disgusting house four police officers needed to be treated for lice , when they got back to the station, LOL, I worked in public health, who are you trying to fool. lice dropping from the ceilings , lmao.
Should have told the police to play with there own hats, not the children's, BUT there was no reason for the violence if indeed its factual against the worker.
What on earth are we allowing to be legislated its against the Human Code.

That young social worker. if indeed stabbed most likely has a mother and father, now worried to death about her safety on the job. And what about her Post traumatic stress. Can she be an effective parent? The CAS denies they cause harm, ask the many parents suffering from PTSD after an investigation. To many false allegations. To many mandated reporters abusing there power , to protect not the child but a medical malpractice lawsuit, or save some bucks, get rid of an annoying parent, stop an activist, wounded pride, Remember the health care act. read it to social workers. They are breaching it as well. Ok on and on we go. Scrap the system. I wonder what all the babies and children adopted out will have to say in a very short 18 or less years from now. The real abuse of children that should concern us, is not the stuff your spending money on. Child abuse is against the law, if you have sufficient evidence that a child would be better off, removed from the family of origin, then we will be watching to see the cases in a criminal courts match it.

Why have they gone down, and yet so many more children are in care today?
Why are more children harmed in care , then in the general population?
Why is this all so secret? If you cant stand the oversight, you get of business.
The most vulnerable child , is in a fact a valuable asset to the CAS. cut the crap.
And find some way to privatize the agency, no one wants to fund the abuse, send the Crown Wards, to the corporate sponsors. Or lets short the stock,that's a no brainier.
The UNITED WAY had some unfavourable things to say about CAS in the press, shocking. Hamilton does a few minutes on air, with an NDP member and the ombudsman, and CAS fellow, and has so much response, all asking for over sight telling horror stories, in fact flooded with people wanting to tell there stories, even social workers not happy with what's going on, they do a follow up show,the emails poured in. The next day in the Hamilton Spec. is a member of the Hamilton police department, phrasing the CAS, he failed to include he also sits on the board of directors, and someone better get out there and say something nice. Then how handy TV crew on hand to show an arrest of two parents, and a social worker with wrapped hands, stab because she was there to save some very valuable children, a baby too. Why was the press right there?????? And all the obliging folks , telling the reporter its a drug house, people coming and going in and out windows, maybe they forgot there keys?
And we are all also suppose to believe that 4 police officers got lice in the house?
Its such a disgusting mess, of course the worst mess any one had ever seen. Why did the camera crew not go in and take a peak. ? Listen this was great, we do have some wonderful theatre in Hamilton, was this an Opus production, the extras playing the part of concerned area residents. Same TV station, I like everyone else that has watched the news, found it all , well a bit over done. And how did the press get there so fast. The children it was reported where still in the house, cops all over the place, people all outside in the afternoon on a cold and windy day, why are they not at work?
It was staged. It had to be. And since when are the parents of a so called abused children allowed to be filmed, WAIT its against the rules, remember. to protect the children and all. Only when it serves CAS purposes do they do crap like this.

This was a promo for the Hamilton CAS and the police, and actors, and News should be ashamed. If it was not, its very nice timing indeed, to find a lice filled, disgusting home ( not shown, but perhaps since there was an assault pictures where taken) What
is the reason for the apprehension. Since they have been arrested apparently and will be charged with the assault, it will be in the criminal court, public record. we can verify some of this. Canada Court watch, is very good.
But how did CH TV know about what was happening in real time. They get a tip.
by the CAS. Now really all this would not be questionable if only the government would get the political will to stop the insanity. How cynical we have all become, when we hear the words CAS. Can it be stopped. I pray it will. They cannot run away from it forever, but they are sure trying.

Anonymous said...

Former privacy commissioner charged with fraud

Updated Wed. Mar. 15 2006 11:24 PM ET News

One-time federal privacy commissioner George Radwanski -- along with his former chief of staff, Arthur Lamarche -- has been charged with fraud and breach of trust.

Radwanski had resigned the position in 2003 after a scandal erupted in the wake of an audit earlier that year.

Eddie Greenspan, Radwanski's lawyer, said the RCMP laid the charges in Toronto late Tuesday.

Cant anyone be trusted in government
hell no, and now my lawyer will be really busy. But what a lawyer he is.Does not usually do family law CAS, but a real expert at Human Right. and understands law like no other.

Anonymous said...

Manitoba's family services minister came under fire yesterday amid accusations a provincially run agency failed to protect a five-year-old girl allegedly murdered by her mother's boyfriend.

Court documents filed by RCMP accuse 43-year-old Karl Wesley McKay of killing his girlfriend's daughter, Phoenix Victoria Hope Sinclair, last June 11 at the Fisher River Cree Nation, about 150 km north of Winnipeg.

It was not the mother that killed the child, it was her ex boyfreind. still very sad.

Anonymous said...

the 1st poster had many things wrong. the mother did not kill the child, and two the file was never given to the other agency, This is common and a real problem out west. CPS will not hand over the children and if they do they dont hand over the file to the native cas. so who is to blame. we all are for allowing this sham of so called child protection go on, and not be demanding change.

'There were risks'
Winnipeg Sun - 14 Mar 2006
By PAUL TURENNE AND ROCHELLE SQUIRES, POLICE AND LEGISLATURE REPORTERS. Manitoba's family services minister came under fire yesterday amid accusations a provincially run agency failed to protect a five-year ...
Girl's file not given to native agency Winnipeg Free Press (subscription)
Death of girl, 5, poses questions for Manitoba Globe and Mail
CBC Manitoba - - CBC News - - all 46 related »

Anonymous said...

just a peak at a bit of the news.

Peel scores poorly on kids' care
Toronto Star, Canada - 1 hour ago
... Peel is a little further down the road to desperation because its growth dates back to the late 1970s, said retired Peel Children's Aid Society director John ...

Giving children a better life
Hamilton Spectator, Canada - 10 Mar 2006
... The staff of the Children's Aid Society of Hamilton, from the
executive director to the front-line workers, are second to none. ...

One major problem is that children are frequently moved from one foster home or group home to another, which further disrupts their lives. City Council members testified about one 15-year-old boy who has moved 30 times and attended 19 different schools.

"Every time we remove them from a place they're trying to call home, children learn that they'll never have a home," social services worker Samuel Chambers tells WJZ's Collins.

Kelley Benham won first place in feature writing for a portfolio that included her obituary of Terri Schiavo, the story of a foster child who had a child of her own.


Finally, there is Marilyn who has been with us for 10 years. She came into our lives as a job applicant. She had limited job skills, but has a unique ability to communicate. We learned she had been abused as a child in foster care. She dropped out of school and became a teenage mother.

She had disastrous, abusive relationships and seemed to be in a constant crisis mode. She went through long periods of panic and depression. Suicidal thoughts would cross her mind. She bounced from one crisis to another. Nonetheless, all the while, she worked hard for the KEYS Leadership program, trying her best to find jobs for the youth in the program. Slowly, Marilyn started turning her life around. She ended her abusive relationships; she bought a condo. She worked hard to obtain a good job and she recommitted herself to improve her life and her children's lives.
DCF agrees to $900,000 settlement on behalf of abused boy
Gainesville Sun, FL - 16 Feb 2006
... a lawsuit for $900,000 brought on behalf of a boy placed in an abusive foster home where his baby sister was murdered. The state child welfare department ...

Children at risk: who cares?The children looked after by Social Services

3-year-old suffocated at foster home
UPI | Dec 17, 2005 | 2 sources
A 3-year-old Canadian boy in foster care has been found dead and a 14-year-old girl, also a foster child, is charged with the murder.

Anonymous said...

I am in Duntser BC and my dads name is cleared in the criminal area but according to the ministry he is still dangerous and they think he will hurt me, which he would never do. Thank you for helping me, I don't really know how I can fight the ministry right now except for going public with what they have put my family and I through, if there is anything you need to know please email me. Thanks again Sandra Davis

Update: March 5, 2004: I just wanted to update you on the more recent things the ministry has done and told my mom and I.

On March 4th my Social worker and her supervisor phoned us and told us that yet again the director has refused me on staying with my mom and if I do not cooperate and move to another foster home (they said I would not have to participate in any family activities or bond with the family) then they would start the restraining order (time #3).

They said they could get the restraining order on a balance of probability that something did happen, and they could get it on my mom for "not believing a offence took place" . Kemp the supervisor told my mom that she should get legal council, mom told them that I wanted a lawyer and asked them how I would go about getting one and they told me through Legal Aid.

So I contacted Legal Aid and I got refused to get a lawyer. My mom and I have already gone to the MLA and Ombudsman and they both said that they could not help me. I do not know were else to turn for help, my mom and I have been given until Wednesday 10th to contact a lawyer and make our decision on what to do. My mom and I are going to talk to a judge, and we were also hoping that you would be able to help us. As long as my parents and I have something to fight with we are not backing down from the ministry. My mom and I have also sent our story to various newspaper and we have not received anything back form them yet regarding my story. All this stress is killing us, we need help, please help us.

Anonymous said...

Doctor leaves Sick Kids
Pathologist's work under review
Innocent parents charged in deaths

HAROLD LEVY, STAFF REPORTER, Toronto Star, Sept. 12, 2005

Dr. Charles Smith, a controversial pathologist involved in several prominent cases where innocent parents were charged with killing their children, has left the Hospital for Sick Children, the Star has learned.

Smith tendered his resignation in July and left the hospital shortly thereafter, spokeswoman Helen Simeon confirmed last night.

She said she was unable to say why Smith resigned because that information is confidential.

On June 7, Dr. Barry McLellan, Ontario's chief coroner, announced an unprecedented review of all cases handled by Smith at the hospital since 1991 where he had performed an autopsy or provided an opinion.

McLellan said he felt compelled to order the review, which will revisit the deaths of more than 40 children, "in order to maintain public confidence in the coroner's office."

In 2001, Smith was removed from the roster of forensic pathologists permitted to conduct autopsies in suspicious deaths. A year later, three complaints to the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons relating to his work in suspicious death cases were upheld.

One complaint had been made by Brenda Waudby of Peterborough, once charged with murdering her 2-year-old daughter. She said Smith had kept in his office for five years a pubic-like hair found during baby Jenna's autopsy, which she said may have saved her from being charged and might have identified Jenna's killer.

Waudby said yesterday the hospital should have terminated Smith "years ago" after the first indication of any problems.

"He has caused so much harm to so many people," she added.

Finance ministry documents reveal Smith's hospital salary was just over $290,000 in 2004.

Smith is also identified with the case of Louise Reynolds of Kingston, who was accused in 1997 of killing her 7-year-old daughter. The charge was dropped after experts found she had been mauled by a pit bull.

Smith could not be reached for comment.

Ontario orders pathologist's work reviewed
Experts to look at pediatric investigations done by doctor accused of bungling cases

By KIRK MAKINGlobe and Mail, , June 8, 2005

Forty homicides and suspicious deaths investigated since 1991 by a pediatric pathologist at the Hospital for Sick Children, Charles Smith, will be thoroughly examined by a team of independent experts, Ontario's chief coroner announced yesterday.

"This review will focus on whether the conclusions reached by Dr. Smith in his autopsy or consultation reports can be supported by information and materials available," Barry McLellan said.

The review is needed "to maintain public confidence that is very important to this office," the chief coroner said, adding that he is considering having a panel of independent pathologists conduct the review.
Dr. McLellan said he did not know how many criminal charges or convictions might have hinged on the work of Dr. Smith, once considered the province's leading expert on pediatric forensics.

"I don't have information available on these 40 cases as to how many are ongoing criminal matters, how many cases went to the courts, and how many resulted in convictions," he said.

Judges and medical authorities have criticized Dr. Smith several times for unwarranted conclusions and tardy reporting. Charges have also collapsed in several criminal cases he worked on.

"I think this review will reveal a lot about Dr. Smith and the way he does autopsies," said Brenda Waudby, a Peterborough woman charged with murdering her daughter based on Dr. Smith's findings. "I want accountability."

Ms. Waudby's daughter, 21-month-old Jenna Mellor, was found dead in 1997 with a pubic hair in her groin area. Dr. Smith later testified that he knew nothing about the hair. Five years after murder charges against Ms. Waudby had been withdrawn, he found the hair in his desk drawer.

While Dr. McLellan said yesterday that he could not identify the 40 cases that will be reviewed until after the families are informed, they probably include 25 cases that were identified in late 2002 by Ontario prosecutors, after a senior Crown official asked them to scour their files for cases where the credibility or reliability of Dr. Smith had been called into question.

Cindy Wasser, of the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted, praised Dr. McLellan's announcement, but said it is too little, too late. Doubt hangs heavy over not only an undetermined number of murder convictions, she said, but a thousand autopsies across the province where Dr. Smith determined the cause of death.

Even if the pathology aspects of Dr. Smith's work is ultimately endorsed by the review, Ms. Wasser said, the public will still lack answers about documentation that went missing in some of Dr. Smith's cases, testimony he gave at criminal trials and his delays in producing reports.

"I cannot think of any solid reason why [Ontario Attorney-General Michael Bryant] would not call for an inquiry," she said. "It may be costly to the public, but the cost of not doing so may be greater."
But Mr. Bryant ruled out a public inquiry, at least until after the coroner's review is done. "I don't want to do anything to prejudge or interfere with his review," he said.

Controversy has swirled around Dr. Smith for several years, as irregularities cropped up in his cases.
"As soon as the concerns were known, somebody should have got involved to rein him in," Ms. Wasser said. "He's not just any doctor. He's a forensic pathologist who gives evidence in homicides, the most serious offence in the Criminal Code. People's lives were involved, not to mention the grief of losing a baby, a child, an infant . . . none of those people have closure."

Ms. Wasser argued that many people have at least been "wrongly charged," if not wrongly convicted.
Yesterday's announcement follows a three-month audit to determine whether thousands of tissue slides from cases involving suspicious deaths of children had been properly kept and stored at the Hospital for Sick Children. In all, the audit team looked at 70 cases dating back to 1991, the year the hospital opened its pediatric forensic pathology unit. Forty of the cases involved Dr. Smith.

The audit turned up a small number of cases in which microscope tissue slides had been misplaced or were not available, Dr. McLellan said. However, he said that the audit team was able to locate "tissue blocks" in each case, from which material could be extracted to make new slides, if needed.

Dr. McLellan said he will decide the details of how the review will be held after meeting with the Forensic Services Advisory Committee, a group that includes prosecutors and defence lawyers.
Dr. Smith has not conducted autopsies for the chief coroner's office since 2003.

Some Smith cases

Pathologist Dr. Charles Smith's work has come into question in several cases, including these:
William Mullins-Johnson of Sault Ste. Marie has been in prison 12 years for the murder of his four-year-old niece Valin. It was recently discovered that Dr. Smith lost tissue samples that could exonerate him.
Eleven-month-old Nicolas Gagnon of Sudbury died in 1995 after apparently bumping his head on a table. Dr. Smith disagreed with the findings of the first pathologist, and concluded after a second autopsy that the cause of the baby's death was non-accidental, blunt-force trauma. The parents were never charged, but while they were under suspicion authorities seized their second child.

In Kingston, Louise Reynolds spent two years in jail facing a murder charge in the 1997 death of her seven-year-old daughter Sharon. Dr. Smith believed that 80 cuts on the girl's body were caused by scissors. He then changed his view and said that the injuries could have been from a pit-bull attack. The Crown withdrew the charge.

Three-year-old Tyrell Salmon of Toronto died in 1998. Based on Dr. Smith's conclusions, his father's girlfriend, Maureen Laidley, was charged with murder. The charge was withdrawn on the eve of trial after three other pathologists concluded that the bump on Tyrell's head was likely caused by falling on a coffee table.

and because of this so called expert parents have lost children to CAS. and went to jail right here in Ontario. good going Sick Kids, you should have known.

Anonymous said...

To the poster that commented about the chalked up news, i agree it is very strange. As to what those who have been in the system say check out Origins Canada.

Anonymous said...

TO MARCH 16 2:14 poster

I am unsure where you are receiving your INCORRECT info.

As for transferring files I am not debating that. It seems the whole thing is a mess. However, the case in BC involving native cas and the killing of a baby by her uncle is very clear. Native CAS did turn this baby over to a convicted child abuser.

As for who killed the child in Manitoba you are wrong. The mother and her boyfriend have been charged. Mom with 1st degree murder, boyfriend with 2nd degre murder. The murder investigation took place in the house they resided in. Enough evidence of torture and murder warranted murder charges without the little girls body.

Anonymous said...

I have just read the CBC post. It seems what I have read elsewhere and heard on CBC news Tuesday night do not agree. I guess the truth will come ut eventually.

According to the CBC post the mother did not kill her. She merely beat her and abused her in ways nobody wants to mention. Presumably she knew of &/or witnessed her boyfriend killing her daughter. As if it could be worst she did not report her little girl missing.

Oh no this wonderful mom did not kill her daughter! Not yet that we are aware of. She only tortured her.!

How ridiculous to use this blog to even TRY to defend her.

Anonymous said...

MARCH 16/06 CBC.CA/Manitoba

Charges against MOTHER and her boyfriend have been UPGRADED to
***First DEGREE MURDER***.

Anonymous said...

See Winnipeg Sun March 16/06--charges upgraded against "mother and boyfriend".

Anonymous said...

Foster dad held in rape
S. Fort Myers man accused of having sex with teenager

By Jeff Cull
Originally posted on January 07, 2006

Cared for at least 22 children


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A south Fort Myers foster father was arrested earlier this week and charged with having sex with one of the children in his care.

Robert Charles Jackson, 55, is in the Lee County Jail on charges of sexual battery or rape and unlawful sexual activity with a child. His bail was set at $150,000.

If convicted of the second-degree felony, Jackson could be sentenced for up to 15 years in prison.

Reports said that his wife, Janie, also a foster parent in charge of at least two children in their Lowe Drive home, walked into the bedroom of their eldest ward and found her naked husband engaged in sex with the 16- or 17-year-old girl. That was at about 5 a.m. Tuesday morning.

Officials said Janie Jackson then was confronted by her husband who told her and the victim not to tell anyone for fear of going to jail.

However, Janie Jackson reported the alleged crime.

The victim said she knew Robert Jackson for about three years and a consensual sexual relationship had been going on "for a long time," the report said.

Officials with the Children's Network of Southwest Florida — the agency responsible for child welfare and foster care in Lee County — would not confirm Friday how many foster children were in the Jacksons' care at the time.

Another girl, between 12 and 15 years of age, also was believed to have been in the home at the time. All the children were removed from the home, a report said.

Children's Network officials said they would investigate the incident.

The Jacksons have been foster parents since May 2003 and have cared for at least 22 foster children in that time, Children's Network officials said.

Background checks were made of the couple before being licensed as a foster home by the Florida Department of Children & Families. Those checks turned up nothing, said Deb Webb, spokeswoman for the Children's Network. A criminal history check by The News-Press found that Robert Jackson had his driver's license suspended in 1995 for an unnamed misdemeanor.

Foster home monitoring and child welfare was turned over to private organizations in Lee County in February 2004 after the Florida Legislature deemed that organizations other than DCF could do the job cheaper and better.

Case managers from Lutheran Services Florida made monthly visits to the Jacksons' foster home to check on the children, and the Children's Network reviewed their license annually. Webb said there were no complaints. Lutheran Services in Tampa could not be reached Friday evening.

Records show that the Jacksons lived on Lowe Drive — a street that neighbors described as quiet — since 1998.

But the news of Jackson's arrest had neighbors talking.

"It was really a shock to find out this happened on our street," said Rhea Bogner, a 30-year resident.

Anonymous said...

can the person who keeps throwing out the web site "origins" please provide the search comes up with all kinds of items in the toiletries dept.

Anonymous said...


someone on this blog keeps referring to it without the web site.....or is there such a site?

Anonymous said...

When I google "Origins Canada" it appears as the first search item at the top of the page.

Anonymous said...

To the last poster: Ys it comes up ....but it is Geographical names. Hardly the sight this blogger keeps throwing out with comments such as "read origins website about all of these victims of CAS"

I cant find this site......makes me wonder if it even exists

Darla McKinstry said...

Anonymous said... "I'm not sure why the previous poster says "yet another case of a child killed by her mother." The truth is, it's extremely rare for a mother to take her own child's life. According to Stats Can, there are consistently fewer than 30 incidents of this type each year involving either a mother or father. Although tragic, these numbers are almost non-existent considering Canada's population."

If this person has been paying attention they will notice that between 2000 and 2004 there were 316 children between the ages of 0-17 years that have been murdered in Canada. In an article titled "Missing Children" and dated 2004, it is stated that since 2000, 22 children were murdered by their mothers in Toronto ALONE. That is between 2000-2004. And since that article I have collected NUMEROUS stories of children murdered by their mothers or step-mothers or mothers lesbian 'partners', and even just from recently.

In that same article it was stated that 460 fathers/stepfathers murdered children while 400 mothers/stepmothers murdered children. Are were going to make an issue of 60?? The fact remains, and many feminists need to realize this... no matter the numbers there are still child victims, that not all women are nurturing loving angelic mothers, and not all fathers are hideous perverted murderers.

Feminist extremists and their continuing cry for 'equality' is a dying issue. With all the programs out there for women, which are not available for me, there is no excuse whatsoever for a woman to murder their own child. PERIOD

Darla M said...

"Feminist extremists and their continuing cry for 'equality' is a dying issue. With all the programs out there for women, which are not available for me, there is no excuse whatsoever for a woman to murder their own child. PERIOD"

CORRECTION: "which are not available for meN,"

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