Transcript: You Know When the Singing Starts | Jun 13, 1988

A clip shows a small plane landing on an airstrip. A title on screen reads "People Patterns. You know when the singing starts."

Joan walks out of the plane. She is in her fifties, has short curly brown hair, and is wearing a brown coat.

She says HI.

A man says GOOD MORNING.
WELCOME TO KAPUSKASING.

Joan says JUST GOING TO
GET MY BAG.
THANK YOU.
THANKS.
AND YOU'VE BEEN DOING
ALL MY RESEARCH FOR ME?
WHOOPS.

The man says WE'VE DONE
OUR BEST.

Joan asks AND YOU'VE GOT FAMILIES
THAT ARE REALLY WILLING
WE DO THIS FILM
ABOUT ADOPTION?

The man says WELL, THEY HAD
MIXED FEELINGS,
BUT I THINK THEY'LL
EVENTUALLY ENJOY IT.

Joan says NOEL THOMAS, TV ONTARIO'S
VOLUNTEER REPRESENTATIVE IN
THIS AREA OF
NORTHEASTERN ONTARIO.

Noel is in his forties, has a black full beard, short black hair, and is wearing a beige coat.

Noel says THAT'S WHAT
WE WANT TO DO.
THERE IS THE KUCHERAN
FAMILY, THE JOANISSE FAMILY
AND THE PELLETIER FAMILY.
ALTOGETHER, I THINK YOU'RE
TALKING ABOUT 37 CHILDREN.

A clip shows a man and a woman in their thirties sitting on a couch.
A caption reads "Phyllis and Roy Walsh."
He is clean-shaven, has short brown hair, and is wearing a white shirt.
She has short black hair, and is wearing a black overall.

Roy says DOING A PROGRAM LIKE
THIS, I THINK... I'LL
JUST START FROM ME... GIVE US
AN OPPORTUNITY, IF NOTHING
ELSE, TO TALK ABOUT THAT
ADOPTION IS A GOOD THING.
ADOPTION IS NOT SOMETHING
FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE DIFFERENT.
IT'S NOT SOMETHING...
YOU DON'T HAVE TO HAVE A
TREMENDOUS, A LOT OF THINGS
TO DO IT.
AND IT'S SOMETHING THAT
CAN HAPPEN TO ANYBODY,
AND IT'S NOT AN
ABNORMAL KIND OF THING.
THAT'S WHY I'M HAPPY YOU'RE
DOING A PROGRAM LIKE THIS.

A clip shows a man in his forties, clean-shaven, with short side parted brown hair, and wearing a green vest over a pale blue shirt.
A caption reads "Dan Kucheran."

He says AT FIRST, I SAW THAT,
LIKE THERE WAS A BIG DEAL
MADE ABOUT IT AND I WAS
KIND OF WONDERING WHY,
BECAUSE REALLY, IT IS NOT A
BIG DEAL TO ADOPT A WHOLE
LOT OF CHILDREN OR TO
HAVE A LOT OF CHILDREN.
IN FACT, IT'S NORMAL.
IT WAS NORMAL FOR MY
PARENTS, AND IT'S ALSO
NORMAL FOR ME, SO...
AND FOR US.

Phyllis Walsh says WELL, I DON'T KNOW.
I THINK I HAVE
MIXED FEELINGS.

Joan says TELL
ME ABOUT THEM.

Phyllis says WELL, PROBABLY
A LITTLE BIT TENSE,
THE FACT THAT ALL THESE LIGHTS
AND CAMERAS AND EVERYTHING
ELSE ARE INTO THE HOUSE,
AND THERE'S SO MANY PEOPLE
AROUND, BUT AT THE SAME
TIME, I REALLY ENJOY THE
OPPORTUNITY OF HAVING YOU
COME HERE TO THE HOUSE.
AND WE'RE QUITE, QUITE PROUD
OF THE KIDS AND OUR FRIENDS
AND EACH OTHER.

Several clips shows kids playing board games, and playing music.

A boy says NO, I AIN'T!
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU
NEVER EVEN PLAYED THE GAME?

A boy says YOU GET TO PICK UP A CARD
AND READ IT, AND IF IT SAYS...
IF IT SAYS JUMP, THAT
MEANS YOU GOT TO TAKE IT
AND YOU WIN THE GAME.
LIKE, YOU TAKE
YOUR YELLOW AND...
YOU WIN.
HUH?

The boy rolls the dice, and says EIGHT.
SIX, SEVEN, EIGHT.
AH, IF I WOULD HAVE SEVEN,
I WOULD LOSE MY JUMP AND
I'D GET THE JUMP.
I LOSE IT RIGHT
OFF THE BAT.

Dan says THE JOYS OF ADOPTION
FOR US WERE MANY.
AND I ALWAYS ENJOY
TO RECALL THE TIMES,
OUR NATURAL CHILDREN
REALLY TOOK IN THE ADOPTED
CHILDREN, BY BEING EXTRA
KIND TO THEM, WHEN THEY
DIDN'T DO SOMETHING RIGHT,
HOW THEY WOULD KIND OF BEND
OVER THEM AND COUNSEL THEM
IN SYMPATHY IF THEY DID IT
WRONG AND KIND OF BUILD THEM
UP, BECAUSE IT WAS A WHOLE
SITUATION OF BUILDING THE
OTHER PEOPLE UP, MAKING
SURE THEIR SELF IMAGE WAS
IMPROVED, AND THAT THEY
HAD A GOOD SELF IMAGE
ABOUT THEMSELVES.
I THINK THAT WAS OUR BIGGEST
THING THAT WE SAW WITH
THE CHILDREN WE ADOPTED.

Phyllis says WELL, AS FAR AS
THEIR FITTING INTO THE
FAMILY AND BEING ACCEPTED
WITH THE FIRST THREE LITTLE
ONES, COLIN WAS VERY
ACCEPTING OF THEM,
WASN'T JEALOUS OF
THEM IN ANY WAY.
YOU KNOW, HE KIND OF PUT US
TO SHAME BECAUSE LOVE FOR
THEM DOESN'T GROW
OVERNIGHT, YOU KNOW?
IT JUST HAS TO BE NOURISHED
THE SAME AS THE NINE MONTHS
THAT IT TOOK TO LOVE HIM
BEFORE HE CAME INTO THE WORLD.
SO, THE OTHERS HAD A LITTLE
BIT MORE DIFFICULTY THOUGH
IN ACCEPTING THE FOUR LITTLE
ONES WHO CAME IN BECAUSE
THEY THOUGHT THEY
HAD LOST THEIR PLACE.

A clip shows kids playing board games.

A boy says ONE, TWO, THREE,
FOUR, FIVE.
HEY, JAKE,
JAKE, JAKE?
THREE, FOUR, FIVE.
OH, I GET TO
PICK UP A CARD.
PICK BALL,
BILL JUMPER.

Phyllis says ANOTHER REWARD IS
JUST SEEING HOW HAPPY
THEY ARE AFTER A YEAR
OR AFTER THREE YEARS OR
WHATEVER, AFTER FOUR YEARS
RATHER, AND BEING ABLE TO
PUT YOUR ARMS AROUND THEM
AND TELL THEM THAT YOU LOVE
THEM AND REALLY MEAN IT, EH,
BUT THAT TAKES A BIT OF TIME.
IT JUST DOESN'T HAPPEN
OVERNIGHT, AND TO HAVE THEM
TO DO THE
SAME THING, TOO.

Roy says YEAH.
YOU NOTICE IT SOMETIMES
WHEN THEY'RE SINGING, EH?
THAT'S ONE THING I NOTICE
WITH THE CHILDREN.
THEY'D BE HERE A COUPLE OF
MONTHS OR SO BEFORE THEY'D
START SINGING.
YOU KNOW HOW KIDS AND
YOURSELF HUM AND SING
WITH YOURSELF?
THERE WAS AN
ABSENCE OF THAT, EH?
WE ONLY HAD ONE, AND THERE
WAS AN ABSENCE FOR A WHILE
AND AFTER ABOUT THREE
MONTHS, KIDS STARTED
SINGING, EH?
THEY'D SING ANYTHING FROM
WHAT THEY HEARD ON THE RADIO
TO THE RECORDS TO HYMNS,
ANYTHING, YOU KNOW,
JUST SINGING.
THAT'S ONE OF THE NICE
THINGS ABOUT ADOPTING, AND
THAT'S HARDLY MUCH TO TALK
ABOUT BUT YOU KNOW IT WHEN
THE SINGING STARTS THAT THE
KIDS ARE FEELING HAPPY,
THEY'RE FEELING
OKAY, YEAH.

Phyllis says OKAY.

A clip shows Joan and a couple with four kids walking into a house.

Simone is in her forties, has short curly brown hair, and is wearing a gray dress.
A caption reads "Simone Joanisse."

Simone says WE HAD
ALWAYS WANTED TO HAVE A
LARGE FAMILY, AND AFTER THE
BIRTH OF OUR LAST BABY,
I WASN'T EXACTLY TOO KEEN
TO BE PREGNANT VERY OFTEN
ANYMORE AND THE THOUGHT
THAT MAYBE ADOPTION WAS...
TO US, IT WAS REALLY A
NATURAL KIND OF THING AND
IT WASN'T ANYTHING THAT WE WERE
WORRIED ABOUT, SO WE LOOKED
AT ADOPTION AS A WAY OF
COMPLETING OUR FAMILY.

John is in his thirties, clean-shaven, with short brown hair, and is wearing a beige shirt.
A caption reads "John Joanisse."

John says THAT'S
RIGHT, THAT'S RIGHT.
INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH, IT'S
SUCH A NATURAL PART OF OUR
FAMILY NOW THAT OUR KIDS GO
INTO ANOTHER FAMILY AND ASK,
"WELL, WHICH ONES ARE
ADOPTED AND WHICH AREN'T?"
THEY EXPECT ALL FAMILIES,
FIRST OF ALL, TO BE BIG;
SECONDLY, TO HAVE ADOPTED
KIDS; AND THIRD, WHERE'S THE
INDIAN ONE OR THE
BLACK ONE OR...
IT'S A LITTLE STRANGE.
IT'S INCONGRUOUS.

Simone says WE HAD FOSTERED,
TOO, AND I THINK
THAT FOSTERING KIDS HAS
REALLY KIND OF BROUGHT US TO
UNDERSTANDING THAT KIDS ARE
JUST KIDS AND THAT WE COULD
ACCEPT THEM NO MATTER.

John says THE OTHER THING, NOW
SOME OF THE OLDER KIDS ARE
ASKING, "WELL, WHERE... WHEN
ARE WE GETTING ANOTHER ONE?"
IT'S ALMOST LIKE IT'S GOING
TO HAPPEN AGAIN AND AGAIN
AND AGAIN, AND WE HAVEN'T
REALLY TALKED ABOUT ADOPTING
AGAIN, BUT THEY EXPECT IT.

Roy says THINKING ABOUT ADOPTING
AND COMING TO THAT KIND
OF DECISION WAS
MORE OF A PROCESS.
WE HAD ONE CHILD, COLIN,
AND THEN WE HAD A COUPLE OF
MISCARRIAGES, AND THEY WERE
RATHER PAINFUL EXPERIENCES
FOR US.
AND I GUESS WE REALIZED
THAT WE HAD AN AWFUL LOT.
PHYLLIS WAS WORKING AND I
WAS WORKING, AND WE HAD A
FAIRLY FULL LIFE, AND WE
WANTED TO SHARE IT.
AND WE HAD ONE LITTLE GUY,
BUT WE THOUGHT IT MIGHT BE
GETTING TOO MUCH FOR HIM.
FIRST, WE DECIDED TO FOSTER
AND WE HAD A COUPLE OF VERY
GOOD EXPERIENCES.
WE HAD FOUR TEENAGE
GIRLS LIVING IN
WHAT WAS OUR REC ROOM
RIGHT NOW, IN KIND OF AN
INDEPENDENT, SEMI
INDEPENDENCE PROGRAM, WHERE
THEY WERE JUST READY TO GO
ON THEIR OWN BUT NOT QUITE,
AND SO THEY STAYED WITH US.
THEN WE HAD ANOTHER YOUNG
GIRL WHO WAS DUE TO GO TO
TRAINING SCHOOL WHO CAME AND
LIVED WITH US FOR ABOUT
A YEAR AND A HALF.
MET TWO LITTLE TEENAGE...
TWO LITTLE NINE AND
10-YEAR-OLD LITTLE INDIAN
KIDS FROM CALSTOCK, AND
AFTER THAT, AFTER THESE KIDS
LEFT, SOMETHING KIND OF
TWIGGED TO US, YOU KNOW,
THAT WE HAD THESE FAMILIES,
WE HAD A TEENAGE EXPERIENCE,
WE HAD A LITTLE KIDS
EXPERIENCE AND THEY'RE...
YET, SOME OF THESE...
IT WAS NOT A VERY PERMANENT
SITUATION, AND SO WE DECIDED
AT THAT POINT MAYBE WE'D
LIKE TO MAKE A PERMANENT
COMMITMENT TO SOME CHILDREN
AND US TO THEM, THEM TO US,
YOU KNOW, SORT OF THING.
THAT'S HOW WE BEGAN
TO THINK ABOUT IT.

A clip shows a woman sitting at a desk. She is in her fifties, has short brown hair, and is wearing a red shirt.
A caption reads "Anne Lynn Kucheran."

Anne says WELL, I THINK IT'S VERY
IMPORTANT FOR THE CHILDREN,
MAYBE NOT RIGHT NOW BECAUSE
THEY ARE FAIRLY YOUNG
BUT CERTAINLY AS
THEY GROW UP, IT'LL BE
VERY IMPORTANT FOR THEM TO
REALIZE WHAT THEIR ROOTS
ARE, AND I'M SURE THEY WILL
WANT TO GO BACK INTO THEIR
PAST AND THEIR EARLY HISTORY
TO FIND OUT EXACTLY WHO THEY
ARE, AND IF I GO BACK TO MY
OWN MIXED HERITAGE, I FIND
THAT, AT ONE TIME, IT WAS
VERY IMPORTANT FOR ME TO
KNOW EXACTLY WHO MY FATHER
WAS, BECAUSE MY FATHER WAS
IRISH IN A VERY FRENCH
COMMUNITY AND I FELT A NEED
TO KNOW EXACTLY WHO HE WAS
BECAUSE I WANTED TO FIND OUT
WHO I WAS BY
KNOWING WHO HE WAS.
SO I AM ASSUMING THAT THE
SAME THING WILL HAPPEN TO
THESE CHILDREN.
AND I THINK WHEN WE
LOOK AT ADOLESCENCE,
THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS.
THEY'RE LOOKING FOR WHO THEY
ARE, SO IT WILL OCCUR AGAIN.

Several clips show girls cooking, and boy working in a workshop.

Anne continues AND WHEN I THINK OF OUR
OWN CHILDREN, THE ELDEST,
MICHAEL WAS 12, HE IS JUST
BEGINNING THE STAGE OF
ASKING MORE SPECIFICALLY
HE ALWAYS HAS; I GUESS
CHILDREN ALWAYS DO... BUT
RIGHT NOW, HE'S ASKING MORE
SPECIFICALLY AS TO WHO HIS
FATHER IS, BECAUSE WE DON'T
SEEM TO BE TRAVELLING OUT
WEST WHERE THE UKRAINIAN
COMMUNITIES ARE, WHO
HIS FATHER IS, WHO HIS
GRANDPARENTS WERE, BECAUSE
THEY ARE BOTH DEAD, SO HE
DOESN'T KNOW THEM AND HE HAS
NO CHANCE OF RELATING TO
THEM OR FINDING THIS
INFORMATION, SO HE MUST RELY
ON US TO GIVE HIM THIS
INFORMATION, AND WE HAVE
PROVIDED HIM WITH SOME
LITERATURE BUT MOST
LITERATURE IS BEYOND HIS
COMPREHENSION RIGHT NOW.
I SAY THAT; WELL, SOME
OF IT MIGHT NOT BE.
BUT THAT THERE IS
A GREAT DEAL OF...
CHILDREN GIVE A GREAT DEAL
OF IMPORTANCE TO THEIR
ROOTS, AND I FEEL THAT WE
MUST PROVIDE THEM WITH THE
ANSWERS AND THE OPPORTUNITY
TO GET THOSE ANSWERS.

Roy says HAVING THE CHILDREN
KNOW WHO THEY ARE
AND EXPERIENCE WHO THEY ARE
AS INDIAN CHILDREN, TO MY
MIND, IS CRUCIAL BECAUSE
IDENTITY IS CRUCIAL ANYWAY
AND BEING IN THE BUSINESS OF
CHILD WELFARE, THE ISSUE OF
THE INDIAN PEOPLE LOSING
THEIR CHILDREN THROUGH
ADOPTION AND THEM NOT BEING,
NOT KNOWING WHO THEY ARE
ONCE THEY TURN INTO YOUNG
MEN AND YOUNG WOMEN, THAT...
I DON'T WANT
THAT TO HAPPEN.
I DON'T WANT TO HARM THE
KIDS THAT WE WANT TO HAVE
A FUTURE, OKAY?
THESE KIDS WERE IN FOSTER
HOMES, THE FIRST LITTLE
GROUP, MICHAEL AND
MARCEL AND ANNA.
MICHAEL HAD HAD FOUR
HOMES... FIVE HOMES BY THE
TIME HE WAS FOUR
YEARS OF AGE,
AND NOBODY NEEDS TO BE
THAT SCREWED UP, YOU KNOW?
AND SO IF HE WEREN'T AWARE
THAT HE WAS AN INDIAN PERSON
AND AWARE OF HIS
HISTORY AND...
WHILE WE CAN'T LET HIM
PARTICIPATE IN THE CULTURE
BECAUSE HE'S LIVING IN OUR
HOME, I RECOGNIZE THAT, BUT
AT LEAST WE MAKE HIM AWARE
OF THAT AND WE OFFER HIM
BOOKS AND THAT
KIND OF STUFF.
IF HE DOESN'T KNOW WHO HE
IS, THEN WE HAVEN'T REALLY
OFFERED ENOUGH...
OFFERED VERY MUCH BY WAY
OF PERMANENCY TO HIM.
SO THAT'S WHY WE THINK IT'S
IMPORTANT THAT, NOT ONLY THE
FIRST FOUR BUT ALL OF THEM,
KNOW WHO THEY ARE AND,
LIKEWISE, COLIN BEING AWARE
THAT HE WAS PART OF A
NEWFOUNDLAND HERITAGE.
I'M PROUD OF THAT.
I DON'T SEE WHY THE KIDS ARE
NOT ALLOWED TO BE PROUD OF
BEING INDIAN KIDS, YOU KNOW?
IT'S INTERESTING, YOU KNOW,
BECAUSE LAST YEAR WHEN I WAS
AT SCHOOL, I HAD A VERY...
BECAME VERY GOOD FRIENDS
WITH AN INDIAN GUY WHO WORKS
FOR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.
AND ONE OF THE PAPERS THAT
HE HAD TO DO WAS ON...
HE DID IT ON INDIAN CHILDREN
BEING LOST TO THEIR RACE, TO
ASSIMILATION AND ONE OF THE
MAIN WAYS BEING THROUGH THE
CHILD WELFARE SYSTEM AND
ADOPTION, AND I BASICALLY...
THAT KIND OF BROUGHT IT TO
THE FORE BECAUSE HARRY AND I
WERE GOOD FRIENDS AND I SAID
TO HIM, AND HE WAS MARRIED
TO A WHITE, A WHITE GIRL AND
HE HAD TWO INDIAN KIDS, I
SAID, "HARRY, WHAT AM I
SUPPOSED TO DO AND WHAT ARE
YOU SUPPOSED TO DO WHEN
THESE CHILDREN ARE IN FOSTER
HOMES AND ARE JUST
GOING TO BE THERE, OKAY?
I AGREE WITH YOU THAT WE
OUGHT NOT TO BE IN THE
POSITION, THE KIDS OUGHT NOT
TO BE IN THE POSITION WHERE
THEY HAVE TO BE ADOPTED INTO
WHITE HOMES AND WE HAVE
CHANGED SOME OF THE
STRUCTURES TO MAKE SURE THAT
THE INDIAN PEOPLE
GET AN OPPORTUNITY.
THE ECONOMICS, I THINK, OF
INDIAN PEOPLE RIGHT NOW,
THEIR FAMILY LIFE, IS NOT
SUCH THAT THEY CAN BRING IN
MORE KIDS INTO THEIR
FAMILY STRUCTURE.
I THINK WE HAVE TO
TACKLE THAT DIFFERENTLY.
BUT FOR THE KIDS WHO ARE IN
THE SYSTEM, MAN, I DON'T
THINK NOBODY WANTS TO HAVE
THOSE KIDS IN THE SYSTEM,
YOU KNOW, AND JUST
LANGUISH IN THE SYSTEM."
WE RAN ACROSS...
LAST YEAR, WE
WERE GOING TO...
WE WERE GOING OUT WEST WITH
THE KIDS ON A VACATION AND
THE KIDS, WE HAD JUST GOT
THEM MAYBE ABOUT THREE OR
FOUR DAYS AND WE WERE SO
CONSCIOUS OF THE FACT
WE HAD EIGHT KIDS NOW.
GEEZ, I WAS WALK INTO
MCDONALD'S IT WAS.
WE WALKED INTO MCDONALD'S
AND ALL WE GOT WERE PEOPLE
JUST LOOKING AT US, EH, OH,
THIS BIG STREAM OF KIDS.
WE SAT DOWN BY ACCIDENT WITH
AN OLDER MAN AND A WOMAN
FROM THUNDER BAY AND THEY
HAD TWO GRANDCHILDREN,
OBVIOUSLY THEIR
GRANDCHILDREN.
THE GRANDCHILDREN WERE
WHITE AND THE COUPLE WAS
AN INDIAN COUPLE.
I WAS REALLY
CONSCIOUS OF THIS.
I DON'T KNOW WHAT IT WAS,
BUT ALL THIS STUFF COMES
BACK TO ME EVERY SO OFTEN.
I WAS CONSCIOUS OF THE FACT
THAT HERE WE HAD ALL THESE
INDIAN KIDS AND HERE'S
THIS OLDER COUPLE WHO HAD
A COUPLE OF WHITE KIDS, AND I
WAS JUST WONDERING IF THEY
WERE LOOKING AT US AND
SAYING THAT SAME ISSUE,
"WHAT ARE THESE PEOPLE
DOING WITH OUR CHILDREN?"
YOU KNOW, AND I...
IT WAS MORE MY FEAR, I
THINK, THAN IT WAS REALLY.
BUT BEFORE THE BREAKFAST WAS
OVER, THE FAMILY HAD SAID
HOW DELIGHTED THAT THEY WERE
THAT THESE CHILDREN HAD A
HOME, AND MAN, THAT MADE
PART OF MY HOLIDAY.
I FELT, BECAUSE WE JUST GOT
THE KIDS JUST RECENTLY, THAT
THAT WAS OKAY,
WE... YOU KNOW.
SO I CAN'T ANSWER FOR
THE INDIAN COMMUNITY.
I CAN ANSWER FOR SOME OF THE
PEOPLE THAT I'VE MET AND
ASKED AND CONFRONTED
WITH THAT QUESTION.
THEY SEEM TO BE QUITE
PLEASED THAT THE CHILDREN,
OUR CHILDREN HAVE A HOME
AND THAT WE'RE HAPPY HAVING
THESE CHILDREN FOR OURS.
THE LARGER ISSUE OF KIDS
BEING LOST TO THE RACE,
I THINK, IS ONE THAT HAS TO BE
DEALT WITH AND I SUPPORT THE
INDIAN PEOPLE IN IT BECAUSE
I DON'T WANT THE KIDS NOT
KNOWING WHO THEY
ARE AS WELL, OKAY?

Simone says CERTAINLY WITH KIDS
OF MIXED HERITAGE,
IT'S VERY, VERY IMPORTANT TO
CONTINUE ON DISCUSSING WITH
THEM WHERE THEY COME FROM,
KEEPING UP STORIES ABOUT
THEIR PAST,
THINGS LIKE THAT.
IF THEY'RE NOT GOING TO BE
ABLE TO REALIZE WHERE THEY
COME FROM, THEY CERTAINLY
WON'T HAVE ANY KIND OF AN
IDEA OF WHERE THEY'RE GOING.

John says THE KIDS THAT WE'VE
BEEN IN CONTACT WITH
IN OUR FAMILY HAVE ASKED
QUESTIONS ABOUT THEIR PAST
BECAUSE THEY REALIZE THAT
THEY ARE DIFFERENT FROM THE
OTHER KIDS IN THE FAMILY AND
USUALLY DIFFERENT FROM MOST
OF THE OTHER KIDS AT SCHOOL.
SO WE'RE SOMEWHAT PREPARED
FOR IT BUT STILL, YOU'RE
TAKEN ABACK BY THE QUESTIONS,
AND THE ANSWERS ARE
SORT OF CRITICAL.
THEY ASK THE QUESTION AND
THEN BACK AWAY, BUT REALLY,
THEY'RE LISTENING.
THEY REALLY WANT TO KNOW
WHERE THEY'RE, WHERE THEY
STAND IN THE FAMILY AND
WHERE THEY STAND IN THE
WHITE SOCIETY, AND OUR TOWN
HERE IS, FOR THE MOST PART,
A WHITE SOCIETY.
WE HAVE A RESERVATION, I
GUESS ABOUT 60 MILES AWAY,
BUT FOR THE MOST PART, THE
PEOPLE YOU MEET ON THE
STREET ARE NON-NATIVE.
THERE ARE SOME, BUT IT'S
NOT A BIG FEATURE OF
THE SOCIETY HERE.

A clip shows a woman in her forties, with short curly brown hair.
A caption reads "Viviane Pelletier."

She says WELL, HAVING ADOPTED
CHILDREN OF MIXED RACE
IN A SMALL TOWN IS
SOMETIMES A PROBLEM.
WE HAVE A CHILD THAT IS
A METIS, AND THIS IS MUCH
EASILY ACCEPTED IN THIS
COMMUNITY BECAUSE THERE ARE
MANY NATIVE CHILDREN;
HOWEVER, WE HAVE ADOPTED A
JAMAICAN CHILD AND HE'S
FINDING IT EXTREMELY
DIFFICULT TO ADAPT
IN A WHITE SOCIETY.
HOWEVER, HE NEEDS A LOT OF
HELP AND SUPPORT AND WE'VE
ALSO HAD A LOT OF HELP IN
HAVING HIM IN A SPECIAL DAY
TREATMENT PROGRAM AT SCHOOL,
AND THIS HAS BEEN VERY
HELPFUL IN HELPING HIM
COPE WITH HIS PROBLEM.
BUT MOST OF ALL, HE NEEDS
THE SUPPORT AND THE LOVE OF
HIS FAMILY AND WE KNEW THIS
BEFORE HE CAME WITH US.
AND I'M SURE THAT, YOU KNOW,
IT'S WORKING OUT VERY WELL
AND HE'S HAD HIS HARD TIMES
BUT HE'S ALL THAT MUCH MORE
SPECIAL BECAUSE OF IT.
THE PROBLEM THAT DANNY'S
FACING WITH THIS IDENTITY
CRISIS IS DANNY'S PROBLEM, SO
IT'S NOT A REFLECTION OF THE
COMMUNITY AT LARGE, BECAUSE
EVEN IN OUR COMMUNITY, OUR
OWN MAYOR IS A BLACK PERSON
AND SO, THEREFORE, THERE IS
A LOT OF ACCEPTANCE IN THE
COMMUNITY, BUT IT'S JUST
DANNY THAT'S GOING TO HAVE
TO LEARN TO ACCEPT HIMSELF.

A clip shows a large family dining.

A man says YOU'RE BABYSITTING
A LITTLE BIT?
DID YOU PAY A
PORTION OF IT?
YEAH.

A woman asks GONNA PAY PART OF YOUR TRIP
AND WE'LL PAY THE OTHER PART?

A clip shows a man in his fifties, clean-shaven, with short receding brown and gray hair.
A caption reads "Yvon 'Peach' Pelletier."

He says IT'S A SMALL COMMUNITY.
WE'RE REMOTE AND THERE'S NO
DIFFERENTIAL OF, YOU KNOW,
THE PROFESSIONAL OR THE
WHITE COLLARS AND THE
LABOURER OR ANYTHING.
WE ALL HAVE TO
WORK TOGETHER.
WE WORK HAND IN HAND; IN
SOCIAL CLUBS OR IN SPORTS
AND OTHER ACTIVITIES,
WE ALWAYS MEET.
IT'S A REAL FRIENDLY TOWN,
OF COURSE, AND NO MATTER
WHERE YOU GO, YOU ALWAYS
MEET PEOPLE THAT YOU KNOW,
NO MATTER WHAT
PROFESSION THEY ARE.
THEY CAN BE THE MILL MANAGER
OR IT CAN BE THE LOCAL BUTCHER.
THERE'S ALWAYS SOME
COMMUNICATION AT ALL TIMES.

A clip shows teens in a classroom.

The teacher says THE ECONOMIC BASE
THEORY HAS THREE PARTS TO IT.
THE BASIC FUNCTION IS THE
ONE THAT PROVIDES THE WEALTH
TO THE CITY.
FOR EXAMPLE, IF WE TAKE A
LOOK AT KAPUSKASING, WE'VE
SEEN THE HINTERLAND MAP
OF 89 TOWNSHIPS, AND OUR
HINTERLAND IS
VERY, VERY LARGE.
THAT MEANS THAT WE HAVE A
GOOD SOURCE FROM WHICH TO
DRAW RAW MATERIALS FROM
AND THEN, OF COURSE, WE'RE
SELLING THESE...
THE PRODUCT MADE FROM THESE
RAW MATERIALS TO NEW YORK.
YOU ALSO HAVE TO FIND A
GOOD PAYING CUSTOMER OR
OTHERWISE, YOU'RE NOT GOING
TO GET THE DOLLAR FOR YOUR
PRODUCT OR FOR YOUR SERVICE.

Several clips show a small snowy town.

A man says THE ADVANTAGES OF A
SMALL TOWN ARE MANY.
YOU HAVE ALL THE GOODS AND
SERVICES THAT YOU NEED.
NATURE IS VERY CLOSE.
IT'S IN OUR BACKYARD.
YOU ALSO HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY
TO BE A LOT FREER.
LIKE, WHERE WE LIVE IN TOWN,
I STILL COULD HAVE A LARGE
GARDEN, I STILL COULD CARRY
OUT A LOT OF MY HOBBIES,
WHICH, IF I WERE IN A LARGER
CENTRE, I WOULDN'T BE ABLE
TO HAVE THAT LATITUDE WHICH
I ENJOY IN KAPUSKASING.

Simone says THE TOWN'S REALLY
GREAT BECAUSE OF THE SIZE.
LIKE, IT'S SMALL ENOUGH THAT
EVERYBODY KNOWS EVERYBODY,
OR EVERYBODY'S BUSINESS
SOMETIMES, BUT EVERYBODY
DOES KNOW YOU.
THEY KNOW THE KIND OF THINGS
THAT ARE GOING ON IN YOUR LIFE,
THEY KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR
EACH OTHER OR FOR THE KIDS.
I FEEL REALLY COMFORTABLE
WITH LETTING THE KIDS PLAY
OUTSIDE, PLAY IN THE
NEIGHBOURHOOD, WALK HOME
FROM SCHOOL.
THERE'S NO PROBLEM AT ALL
WITH THAT KIND OF THING.

John says I THINK THAT
THE MAIN REASON WE CAME
HERE, OTHER THAN THE STYLE
OF PRACTICE WHICH I AM
ALLOWED TO CONDUCT HERE, THE
MAIN REASON WE CAME HERE WAS
TO RAISE KIDS.
WE HAD TWO WHEN WE CAME AND
HAD PLANNED, AS SIMONE SAID,
A LARGER FAMILY AND WE WERE
CERTAINLY OF THE OPINION
THAT THIS WAS A GOOD
PLACE TO RAISE KIDS.

Simone says WE TEND TO
HAVE A REALLY, LIKE A
COMMUNITY SPIRIT THAT I'M NOT
SURE THAT PEOPLE IN A CITY CAN
HAVE, JUST BECAUSE EVERYBODY
DOES EVERYTHING TOGETHER.

John says SMALL TOWN HELPS FROM
THE POINT OF VIEW OF
YOU MEET PEOPLE A
LOT MORE OFTEN.
THE TEACHER IS ALSO THE
PERSON WHO HAS ADOPTED.
THE DOCTOR IS ALSO THE
PERSON WHO'S ADOPTED, YOU
KNOW, AND SOMEBODY USED THE
PHRASE, YOU HAVE INCESTUOUS
RELATIONSHIPS IN SMALL
TOWNS, YEAH, BECAUSE THEY
ALSO SERVE ON COMMITTEES
AND THEY'RE ALSO...
YOU KNOW, THEY'RE ALL DOING
A LOT OF THE SAME THINGS.

A clip shows teens in a classroom.

The teacher says HOW CAN YOU DEVELOP
A PARAGRAPH?
BY USING DETAILS, EXAMPLES
AND WE'LL GIVE REASONS,
REMEMBER THAT, REASONS.
DETAIL, EXAMPLES AND...
I TEACH OVER AT THE CITE
DES JEUNES, AND WE'RE ON A
SEMESTER SYSTEM, AND BECAUSE
WE'RE ON A SEMESTER SYSTEM,
I DON'T KNOW WHETHER I'LL
HAVE A LUNCH PERIOD AT THE
SAME TIME THAT THE CHILDREN
WILL BE OFF OR NOT.
SO WE GOT JEAN TO COME IN AT
10 O'CLOCK IN THE MORNING
BECAUSE ANNA COMES HOME AT
11:30 AND WE'RE NEVER AROUND.
BESIDES THAT, THE EIGHT OF
THEM COME HOME FOR LUNCH
AT NOONTIME.
ROY PICKS THEM UP AND JEAN
PREPARES THE LUNCH FOR THEM,
AND THEN IN THE AFTERNOON,
SHE PREPARES SUPPER FOR ME.
I DIDN'T ASK HER TO DO THAT.
THAT WAS SOMETHING SPECIAL.
SO...
AND, AGAIN, IT LEAVES US FREE
IN THE NIGHT TIME TO SPEND
WITH THE KIDS BECAUSE I
DON'T HAVE TO GO AROUND AND
DO THE HOUSEWORK.
HELP YOURSELVES.
YOU GET THREE
EACH, OKAY?

A clip shows children eating at a table.

A woman asks WHAT DID YOU LEARN
THAT WAS NEW TODAY?

A boy says NOTHING.

A woman says SINCE MY KIDS ARE
GROWN UP, I HAVE A LOT OF
SPARE TIME AND I'M NOT USED
TO IT, AND I LOVE TO WORK
AND I LOVE CHILDREN AND
THAT'S WHY I TOOK THIS JOB.
AND THE CHILDREN AND THEIR
PARENTS ARE JUST FANTASTIC
PEOPLE TO BE WITH.
GIVES YOU SOMETHING
GOOD TO LAUGH AT.

A clip shows a woman helping a teenager with his homework. She has short wavy brown hair, and is wearing a black blazer.

She says I DEAL WITH CHILDREN
WITH SPEECH PROBLEMS.
SOME DIFFICULTY IN
ENUNCIATING AND SOME WITH
THEIR WRITTEN WORK AND
THEIR READING WORK.
MOSTLY AT THIS LEVEL, WE
STRESS ON THE WRITTEN WORK,
RATHER THAN READING AND
COMMUNICATING, BUT THE
COMMUNICATION IS ALWAYS
IMPORTANT BECAUSE READING IS
ONE FORM OF COMMUNICATION
AND UNLESS YOU CAN SAY IT,
YOU CAN'T WRITE IT.
SO THIS IS WHAT I DO.
I WORK MOSTLY ON A
ONE-TO-ONE BASIS.
ONE OF THE REASON I FEEL
THAT I AM SUCCESSFUL AS A
SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHER
IN THE FIELD OF LEARNING
DISABILITIES IS BECAUSE I
WAS CONSIDERED FOR A LONG
TIME AS HAVING A LEARNING
DISABILITY, AND I STILL DO.
ANYBODY WHO HAS TO READ MY
WRITING OR HAS TO CORRECT
ANYTHING I WRITE WILL ATTEST
TO THE FACT THAT I DO NOT
KNOW HOW TO SPELL,
EVEN TO THIS DAY.
I MEAN, A WORD MAY HAVE FIVE
LETTERS; ALL FIVE LETTERS
WILL BE THERE BUT
WHAT ORDER, YOU KNOW?
IT'S NOT AS REMARKABLE AS IT
USED TO BE WHEN I WAS GOING
TO SCHOOL BECAUSE TRAINING
HAS HAD ITS PRACTICE, BUT
IT'S STILL THERE AND
I UNDERSTAND THEIR
FRUSTRATION, I UNDERSTAND
WHAT IT'S LIKE TO KNOW
SOMETHING AND TO HAVE IT
CLEARLY IN YOUR HEAD BUT TO
HAVE THE INABILITY OR GREAT
DIFFICULTY IN PUTTING IT DOWN
ON PAPER.
AND BECAUSE OF THIS
UNDERSTANDING, I THINK I
HAVE A SPECIAL COMMUNICATION
WITH THESE CHILDREN.

Viviane says I'M PRESENTLY WORKING
FOR HABITAT INTERLUDE.
WE'RE A CRISIS CENTRE FOR
BATTERED WOMEN AND CHILDREN.
WE PROVIDE ASSISTANCE AND
TEMPORARY ACCOMMODATION FOR
WOMEN THAT ARE IN NEED.
WE COVER THE AREA OF
COCHRANE TO CALSTOCK, AND WE
JUST SERVE THAT POPULATION,
ALTHOUGH WE ARE BASED
IN KAPUSKASING.
WELL, I THINK MAYBE WHEN
YOU'RE IN A LARGE CITY,
PEOPLE ARE MORE AWARE OF IT
THROUGH THE NEWS MEDIA, BUT
SURPRISINGLY ENOUGH, IT'S JUST
AS COMMON IN A SMALL AREA.
SO WE HAVE AS MUCH NEED AS
IN A LARGE CENTRE AND THE
WAY THAT OUR FACILITY IS
BEING USED, IT'S BEEN PROVEN
ALREADY THAT THERE
IS A NEED FOR IT.

A clip shows Simone helping a boy in the library.

She says OKAY, RUSSIA, 947.
WE'LL GO DOWN AND...
TAKE YOUR BOOKS.
GO DOWN AND
LOOK FOR THEM.

The boy says JUST THAT IN THE HISTORY
CLASS, LIKE WE HAVE
JUST ENOUGH MATERIAL.

Simone says OVER HERE.

The boy says LIKE, Mr. HARKIN WANTS ME TO
DO A LITTLE BIT MORE RESEARCH.
OKAY.

Simone says HISTORY OF RUSSIA,
MAKING OF RUSSIA?

The boy says YEAH.

Simone says LET'S LOOK AND SEE
IF THERE'S ANYTHING.
WHAT SPECIFICALLY DOES
HE WANT YOU TO ADD?

Joan says FOUR SETS OF PARENTS
FOR A TOTAL OF 27 CHILDREN,
EIGHT CONCERNED ADULTS,
CONCERNED FOR THEIR
FAMILIES, FOR THEIR
COMMUNITY AND FOR EACH OTHER.
ALL PROFESSIONALS IN
EDUCATION, SOCIAL SERVICES
OR MEDICINE.
TO THE OUTSIDER, THE
DEGREE OF CARING IS ALMOST
TANGIBLE, PERHAPS BECAUSE
OF THE STRONG COMMON BOND,
SUMMED UP HERE BY ROY
WALSH AND DAN KUCHERAN.

Several clips show families with kids playing in the snow.

Roy says THE FAMILIES
THAT WE'RE TALKING WITH
AND YOU'RE FILMING
AND THAT SORT OF THING,
WE HAD KNOWN EACH
OTHER AS ACQUAINTANCES.
IN A SMALL TOWN,
YOU DO THAT ANYWAY.
BUT WHEN THIS ADOPTION
CONNECTION STARTED TO
HAPPEN, WE BECAME MORE THAN
ACQUAINTANCES; WE BECAME
FRIENDS, AND BECAUSE I THINK
THERE WAS A SENSE OF HOW CAN
WE MAKE THIS THING WORK, HOW
CAN WE SUPPORT EACH OTHER
WITHOUT GETTING INTO A
FORMAL THING, WITHOUT MAKING
IT A BIG DEAL, HOW CAN WE
INTEGRATE THESE CHILDREN
IN OUR FAMILIES AND BE
AVAILABLE TO EACH OTHER
WHEN A NEED ARISES?

Dan says YEAH.
I WASN'T AWARE THAT IT WAS
A SUPPORT SYSTEM, AND I WAS
RATHER SURPRISED WHEN I
HEARD THE WORD THE FIRST
TIME BECAUSE IT WAS JUST
SOMETHING THAT GREW UP
RATHER NATURALLY.
WE... ALMOST AS IF BIRDS
OF A FEATHER FLOCK TOGETHER.
AND WE NEEDED THE SUPPORT.
WE GOT IT.
WE KNEW WHERE TO GO FOR
IT, AND WE OBTAINED IT.
I'LL NEVER FORGET THE TIME
WHEN STEPHEN HAD BEEN WITH
US FOR ABOUT SIX MONTHS AND
HE REALLY DIDN'T TEST US
UNTIL ONE DAY I COME HOME
AND THERE IS MY SOLAR
COLLECTOR, WHICH I SPENT ALL
KINDS OF TIME, MONEY AND
ENERGY IN CONSTRUCTING AND
BUILDING AND ASSEMBLING,
AND I CAME HOME AND
THE THING IS BROKEN.
WELL, HE COULD HAVE BUST
EVERY WINDOW IN THE HOUSE,
IT WOULDN'T HAVE MEANT AS
MUCH AS BREAKING THAT ONE
PIECE OF GLASS.
SO JUST RIGHT AT THAT TIME,
ROY ARRIVES ON THE SCENE
AND HE PUT THE NAIL
RIGHT ON THE HEAD.
HE SAYS, "WELL, I GUESS
STEVE WANTED TO KNOW IF YOU
LOVE HIM MORE THAN ANYTHING
ELSE IN THE HOUSE."
AND IT'S UNTIL LATER THAT I
REALIZED THAT, YEAH, THAT'S
THE SUPPORT SYSTEM AND NOW
THAT YOU'VE GIVEN IT AN
OFFICIAL TERM, I SUPPOSE
THAT'S WHAT WE'RE ALL
CALLING IT.

A clip shows children with their families sitting in a room, singing.

The end credits roll.

Producer/Director, Joan Reed-Olsen.

A production of TVOntario. Copyright 1981, The Ontario Educational Communications Authority.

Watch: You Know When the Singing Starts