Momentum builds for gathering of aboriginal adoptees
Gathering for people who were adopted or lived in foster care as children
An upcoming gathering of aboriginal people who were adopted or lived in foster care as children is gathering momentum as organizers visited Regina to talk about their plans.
The event, set for Ottawa, is called the Indigenous Adoptee Gathering 2014 and takes place Sept. 20 to 21.
One of the organizers of the event is Lesley Parlane, who was adopted as a small child.
Parlane says the idea for the gathering arose when she and other friends, who were also adopted, discovered they had many things in common because of that background and felt that sharing their experiences and providing support could be valuable.
She said she wishes such a community was available to her, as she was growing up.
"It would have been good to get together with people like me," Parlane said. "My experience wasn't bad but it wasn't good either, but everybody had a different experience but where do you go with that?"
The gathering will offer a variety of healing circles, workshops, and talks by people who have also been adopted.
Parlane explained that she learned much about her own history - and family connections - when, as an 18-year-old applying to get her Status Indian documents, she was contacted by a Saskatchewan First Nation and told they had various records relating to her adoption and news that she had a number of sisters who had been looking to find her.
It was a lot of information to process all at once, Parlane said and it took several years for her to feel comfortable delving into her family history. Now she says, she has been visiting family on the Standing Buffalo First Nation on a regular basis for the past three years.
She is hoping the upcoming gathering will help others who may be facing similar situations.
The Ottawa event has enough room for 80 participants and is just over half full.