MENU

Reason.com

Free Minds & Free Markets

Canada Kidnapped Native Children to ‘Kill the Indian’ in Them: New at Reason

A powerful podcast documents a Cree family’s destruction by a government intent on eradicating their culture.

You may not have heard of Finding Cleo, much less listened to it. That needs to change.

One of the most disturbing and compelling works of investigative journalism this year, the Canadian Broadcast Corporation's Finding Cleo unpacks generations of failed government policy and the toxic white paternalism that fueled them in both Canada in the United States, all in the quest to answer one question: Where is Cleo? What happened to the little Cree girl who was forcibly taken from her Saskatchewan family in the 1970s, exported like a product to the United States, and somehow lost to everyone who had known and loved her?

Cleo's four surviving siblings—none of whom had seen her since 1974, when a child welfare worker took the crying girl away—likewise had been scattered across Canada and the United States, but ultimately they found each other again and turned to the CBC for help in finding their missing sister. Award-winning host and writer Connie Walker, herself a Cree from the Okanese First Nation in Saskatchewan, documents the subsequent investigation in the Finding Cleo podcast, which is available from iTunes and at www.cbc.ca/radio/findingcleo. Walker shows that the story of Cleo's kin, the Semaganis family, is part of a much larger tragedy, writes Amy Strugis.

Photo Credit: Chelovek/Dreamstime.com

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online