Editorial: Special Issue on Custom Adoptions

Sandrina de Finney, Jeannine Carrière
2015 First Peoples Child & Family Review  
So all my former foster kids better ride 'Cause they say the hope for my future has died But you're wrong, ha ha, it's still alive So whoever is holding my case file they better hide 'Cause I'm living proof that real love can never die. (Chris Tait, forum presenter, former youth in care) related training, knowledge transmission and resource sharing (see http://web.uvic.ca/icwr). Methods The forum was part of a larger research study undertaken by ICWRN to document knowledge and traditions
more » ... to custom adoptions through Indigenous research methodologies. Proceedings were organized following traditional protocols, including Elder blessings, ceremonies, gifting, and acknowledgements of territory and of respected guests and teachers. Presentations were videotaped and transcribed, and the purpose of the research was explained verbally and in writing to participants. In accordance with cultural guidelines, certain cultural teachings and ceremonial practices were not recorded. The forum resulted in several products that are available on the ICWRN website, including video footage, transcripts, a community report, a literature review, and other academic resources. Lalum'utul' Smun'eem Child and Family Services, Cowichan Tribes -Panel Executive Director Lise Haddock facilitated a panel discussion with the adoption team from Lalum'utul' Smun'eem Child and Family Services, a delegated agency of the Cowichan Tribes. Panelists included Glynn Corfield, youth adoptee; Lori Guerin, Adoptions Assistant; Holly Charlie, Social Worker; and Joe Tom, Kinship Worker. The panelists shared information about the Q'ushintul's tse' Adoption Program at Lalum'utul' Smun'eem. Glynn Corfield shared his experience as an adopted youth and a member of the Cowichan Tribes. He was born in care and is now living in Cowichan, and his adoption was facilitated through the Q'ushintul's tse' adoption program. Director Lise Haddock then described the community services Lalum'utul' Smun'eem offers as a fully delegated agency which provides child safety services. 1 Lise then described the process the agency went through to create their adoption program. She noted that First Nations peoples and more specifically, Cowichan Tribes, never relinquished their inherent right to care and plan for their children and families. Cowichan Tribes affirmed this right and drew upon the delegated authority model to return Cowichan customary traditions of adoption to their communities in providing adoption services through a Cowichan cultural lens. The adoption program is firmly grounded in the culture and traditions of the Cowichan people. The agency sought approval from Chief and Council at the onset of program planning, which
doi:10.7202/1077178ar fatcat:dlhaxzoomncrxpq63tm7p6mry4