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Introduction The over-representation of Aboriginal children in the Canadian Child Welfare system is a growing and multifaceted issue rooted in a pervasive history of racism and colonization in Canada. Residential schools were established with the intent to force assimilation of Aboriginal people in Canada into European-Canadian society (Reimer, 2010, p. 22). Many Aboriginal children’s lives have been changed adversely by the development of residential schools, even for those who did not attend them. It is estimated that Aboriginal children “are 6-8 times more likely to be placed in foster care than non-Aboriginal children (Saskatchewan Child Welfare Review Panel, 2010, p. 2).” Reports have also indicated that First Nations registered Indian children make up the largest proportion of Aboriginal children entering child welfare care across Canada (Saskatchewan Child Welfare Review Panel, p. 2). Consequently, this has negatively impacted Aboriginal communities experience of and relationship with child welfare services across the country. It is visible that the over-representation of Aboriginal children in the child welfare system in Canada lies in the impact of the Canadian policy for Indian residential schools, which will be described throughout this paper. Residential schools undoubtedly created detrimental inter-generational consequences. The dark legacy of residential schools has had enduring impact, reaching into each new generation, and has led to countless problems within Aboriginal families including: chemical dependence, a cycle of abuse in families, dysfunctional families, crime and incarceration, depression, grief, suicide, and cultural identity issues (McFarlan, 2000, p. 13). Therefore, the inter-generational consequence... ... middle of paper ... ...ed in out-of-home care during those years were Aboriginal, yet Aboriginal children made up less than 5% of the total child population in Canada (Brown et al., 2005).” The number of First Nations children from reserves placed in out-of-home care grew rapidly between 1995 and 2001, increasing by 71.5% (Brown et al., 2005). In Manitoba, Aboriginal children made up nearly 80% of children living in out-of-home care in 2000 (Brown et al., 2005). These staggering numbers are the reason why researchers and advocates blame the residential schools as the main historical culprit for today’s phenomenon of the over-representation of Aboriginal children in the child welfare system. The sections below will highlight how residential schools shaped child welfare system in Canada today, which help to explain the over-representation of Aboriginal children in the child welfare system.

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