Scoop sur­vivor un­sure of iden­tity

Edmonton Journal - - EDITORIAL -

I was re­moved from my par­ents along with three other sib­lings and placed in a foster home. My ex­pe­ri­ence there was valu­able and safe. I don’t want to de­tract from my foster par­ents’ care and love. I ap­pre­ci­ate the val­ues and life ex­pe­ri­ence they gave me.

I did grad­u­ate from high school with a few bumps along the way and I did grad­u­ate from col­lege with a diploma in child care. With my early foun­da­tion of love and sup­port I be­came suc­cess­ful, ac­cord­ing to so­ci­ety.

How­ever, my ori­gins are linked to my bi­o­log­i­cal First Na­tions mom, grand­par­ents and sib­lings. We have ex­pe­ri­enced emo­tional trauma that has in­te­grated its threads into our lives. With that comes al­co­holism, shame, con­fu­sion, iden­tity cri­sis, loss of cul­ture, bond­ing with my fam­ily, loss of lan­guage and vi­o­lence passed down in­ter­gen­er­a­tionally.

Coun­selling, ad­dic­tions treat­ment and women’s shel­ters are in place to as­sist with heal­ing. How­ever, look­ing in the mir­ror there was fear, lone­li­ness, con­fu­sion and a sense of “what is wrong with me?”

When I was in col­lege in my mid-30s, I ex­pe­ri­enced an iden­tity cri­sis. Was I white? Brown out­side and white in­side? We had a ques­tion to an­swer as an as­sign­ment: “What are your val­ues and ethics?” That floored me. I had no clue.

The above is my ex­pe­ri­ence as a ’60s Scoop sur­vivor. We are on a per­sonal jour­ney of heal­ing. It some­times takes 10 years, 20 years or more for some peo­ple.

Kim Samp­son, Ed­mon­ton


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