With a simple plea, an Indigenous woman who says she's been fighting to get her three children back from Manitoba's child welfare system for 10 years lays out her next plan.
Tamara Malcolm, who currently lives in Ontario's Serpent River First Nation with her husband, young daughter and oldest son, started a GoFundMe page this month to raise money to hire a lawyer and explore her options "for a legal case against those responsible for the negligence in my, and my children's, case."
As of Monday, Malcolm had raised $2,870, which she wrote on Twitter that she'd used to retain Toronto lawyer and First Nations advocate Katherine Hensel. With the help of Hensel and the financial support raised on her page, Malcolm will be suing the agencies responsible for keeping her children from her, Hensel told HuffPost Canada in an interview.
Malcolm, 34, has had "her life in order for many years," Hensel said. She has a "healthy home and family," and that's been known to the children's aid authorities in Winnipeg for quite some time, Hensel added.
Yet Malcolm's children have "languished" in foster care for a decade, she added, where they've been separated from each other, and denied their family and cultural upbringing.
These children will spend the rest of their lives recovering from their childhood.Lawyer Katherine Hensel
They have two legal objectives, Hensel said. First, to return Malcolm's two youngest boys to her care (the eldest aged out of the system and moved back home). Second, to redress and remedy the "very real harm and trauma" that's been caused by the actions of the state, she said.
"These children will spend the rest of their lives recovering from their childhood," Hensel said.