Lori Campbell was just 14 months old when she was apprehended by social services in Saskatchewan.
Her mother was sexually abused as a child and became a prostitute when she was 14. Her father was a john.
“The worker indicated that when you were first placed in your foster home you were a bit apprehensive of people.” Campbell reads from a document in her file, obtained from social services.
Campbell stayed in the care of child services until she was adopted when she was two.
Her adopted family was white but Campbell always knew she was different.
“I knew I was Métis. I don’t remember not knowing.” she says. But she wasn’t encouraged to embrace her heritage.
“I grew up in rural, red neck Saskatchewan in the 70's and 80's and it wasn’t something you wanted to advertise.”
Campbell began search for her birth family
After graduating high school, Campbell moved to Regina to attend university. It was there she began her search for her family. She started looking in 1991 and it took her eight years to find out her mother’s name.
“I had a name… I went to a phone book at the public library and I found a number.”
Hours later she was on the phone talking to her mother for the first time.
In that first conversation, Campbell remembers her mother saying, “I always said you’d be the first one to come and find us.”
The first because Lori wasn’t her mother’s only child that was placed in care — all seven of her siblings had been taken into custody of child and family services.
Campbell still searching for younger brother
In the last 15 years, Lori Campbell has tracked down all of her younger siblings except one.
“I’m the oldest. I feel responsible to at least check in on them.”
Her younger brother was born in Regina in 1974 was and adopted in 1978.
A photo that she posted on Facebook asking for help finding him has been shared over 10,000 times.
'...I feel lucky that I went into care... and that I survived being rescued.'- Lori Campbell
Campbell said the recent news about children who have died in care have added to the urgency.
She doesn't know much about the months that she spent in care except for the little information supplied by social services. But she still considers herself fortunate.
“I feel lucky and it’s weird to say that I feel lucky that I went into care and had interaction with the system that was supposed to rescue me and that I survived being rescued."
Campbell's mother's health is deteriorating
Campbell is the only one of her siblings that has a relationship with her mother who is now HIV positive and also suffers from multiple sclerosis.
“Our mom is not healthy. She never got things fixed in her life. And she is kind of on her last leg here… my work is gathering her stories and her experiences and this is one last piece until it’s done. There is some pressure in it.”
Campbell is also working with her mother to write about a book about her life.
"I know she did the best she could with the hand she was given. Life was not easy for her by any means.”