Fundraiser aims to help ‘Stolen Hearts’ group

After creating a lot of quiet social action locally, the group producing Stolen Hearts, a film project about babies removed at birth from their Cowichan Valley mothers, is now nearly ready to move onto the next stage of the project’s development.

Stolen Hearts tells a difficult story. The goal was to give a voice to the many people who are living with such an experience.

The Stolen Hearts website puts the problem baldly.

"When newborns are removed from their mothers by child protection agencies, there are serious negative consequences for the mother, her baby, her family and the community. This disproportionately affects First Nations women in the Cowichan Valley of British Columbia.

"Women whose babies are removed often struggle with a combination of poverty, homelessness, violence and addictions. The removal of children has been linked to suicide by parents. Front line workers struggle to make decisions for the safety of children and families but a lack of support and resources results in too many removals."

Project producer Patricia Dawn said they’ve been meeting with a group of aboriginal women at the Matraea Centre.

"It’s been awesome," she said.

"It’s social action done through documentary filmmaking."

The centre has given them the space to gather, and they’ve been working on support and advocacy education, meeting once a week on Mondays.

The Cowichan Valley Health Network gave them seed funding of $2,000. They hope to turn the work into a non-profit.

Next up is moving ahead with Stolen Hearts, the documentary film.

"We’ve got experts lined up and we’re looking at doing an online crowd-funding campaign," said Dawn.

The group will also be hosting a fundraiser at the Firehouse Wine Bar on Dec. 29 starting at 7 p.m. The proceeds will go towards paying for the space they’re using. Entry is $20 each and you’ll get a chance to hear Dawn and fellow filmmaker Nick Versteeg.

In the documentary, aboriginal women share their experiences.

When the perspectives of medical professionals, front line agencies, and local social workers are added in, the film shines a light in a dark corner of the Valley’s history.

The plan is also to present alternatives being used in other communities that are showing high rates of success for mothers to keep their children, said Dawn.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Renovated Lake Cowichan town hall will include emergency operations centre

Upgrade project expected to be complete within months

Business notes: Realtors raise $10,000 for Nourish Cowichan

The latest from Cowichan’s business community

North Cowichan mayor answers questions about new RCMP detachment

The current building went up in 1980, when there were 30 people working there.

B.C. Supreme Court dismisses claim against Island Corridor Foundation

Snaw-Naw-As (Nanoose) First Nation was seeking return of reserve land as railway sits unused

13 new B.C. COVID-19 cases, Langley Lodge outbreak ends

Health care outbreaks down to four, 162 cases active

Two injured hikers airlifted from North Vancouver Island Park

Campbell River and Comox Search and Rescue hoist team rescued the injured from Cape Scott Provincial Park

Alberta health minister orders review into response after noose found in hospital in 2016

A piece of rope tied into a noose was found taped to the door of an operating room at the Grande Prairie Hospital in 2016

B.C.’s major rivers surge, sparking flood warnings

A persistent low pressure system over Alberta has led to several days of heavy rain

B.C.’s Indigenous rights law faces 2020 implementation deadline

Pipeline projects carry on as B.C. works on UN goals

‘Mind boggling’: B.C. man $1 million richer after winning Lotto 6/49 a second time

David O’Brien hopes to use his winnings to travel and of course keep playing the lottery

B.C. teacher loses licence after sexual relationships with two recently-graduated students

The teacher won’t be allowed to apply for a teaching certificate until 2035

Lower Mainland teacher facing child pornography charges

Elazar Reshef, 52, has worked in the Delta School District

Most Read