By Judy Bird

One woman’s story about her life growing up in the foster care system is the subject of a new book.

Dr. Jacqueline Maurice spent 18 years of her life as a ward of the system, living in 14 different foster homes until she began to live on her own at age 14. She chronicled her experience and deals with the subject of children in care in her new book, “The Lost Children – A Nation’s Shame”. A book launch was held in late November at McNally Robinson in Saskatoon.

Dr. Maurice was apprehended as part of the ‘60s Scoop, a phrase coined in 1983 by Patrick Johnson, a professor of Social Work in Manitoba when he wrote a report on Aboriginal children in the child care system.

J Maurice book 1

The book tells her story from a child labelled as “won’t amount to anything” and “problem child” to her triumphs of earning university degrees and becoming an educator and role model.

Dr. Maurice compares the foster/adoption system to that of residential schools with respect to the trauma it inflicted on children. “When you look at the residential school era, and impacts and intergenerational traumas, and then the ‘60s scoop and intergenerational impacts and trauma, both are very traumatic, and there is no justification for those race-based policies and practices,” she said.

“There are great trauma and loss issues, grief and loss issues. Now you’re beginning to see more of a trend that those who have gone through residential schools have also gone through post-traumatic stress. It’s unfortunate that there’s not that validity, support yet and encouragement for recognizing that going through home after home and family after family are also traumatic events. These are valid and real losses,” she added.

For anyone looking for support or an opportunity to get together to discuss what they’ve gone through with the scoop experience, please contact Dr. Maurice at (306)229-0666 or by email at Jackie.m.maurice@gmail.com or Jackie.maurice@usask.ca

J Maurice books

“First Lady Nation, Vol 2 features 16 stories by 16 Indigenous Women. Dr. Maurice and another woman wrote about the 60s Scoop in this anthology. Photo provided by Jacqueline Maurice.

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