The Residential School System Didn't End-It Just Became Foster Care - 2021-06-09
In the early 1970s, Don Philpot was working at a church gearing up to host about 30 Indigenous children, ages 4-6, overnight—all were en route to Lejac Residential School in British Columbia. The kids, taken from their parents by force, didn't know where they were—or where they were going. They spent the night crying.
"He said, 'There is something really wrong here,'" said Mukwa Musayett, who met Philpot in 1991, when they were both social workers.
Fast forward to the 1990s and Philpot, again, saw something wrong: the child welfare system was disproportionately stripping Indigenous children from their homes and placing them with white families. "It wasn't right then, and it's not right now, what we're doing by having these children in non-Indigenous homes," Mukwa Musayett recalls Philpot telling her at the time. (Philpot died in the 1990s.)