About the video

Through our Child Welfare Advocacy Communities of Practice project, West Coast LEAF has been working with community to transform public attitudes, a necessity if we hope to transform harmful, colonial systems.

In an effort to shift culture, we created the short documentary Kids Are Only Kids Once in collaboration with parents with firsthand knowledge of the family policing system, as well as other advocates. We thank them for speaking out about the devastating impacts of family separation on children, families, Nations, and communities, and for sharing their vision for change. We believe that their powerful voices will increase viewers’ understanding and inspire them to action. 

From the bottom of our hearts, we also thank filmmakers Alysha Collie and Dallas Yellowfly of 3 Crows Productions. Their outstanding generosity, commitment, passion, and brilliance made this film possible. 

Content note: This video discusses child apprehensions, residential schools, trauma, colonialism, and discrimination against people who use substances.



Emotional and legal support

West Coast LEAF is not a legal clinic. We do not offer legal advice, direct services, advocacy, or representation for individuals. Below are support resources in BC.

Toll-free phone: 1-800-588-8717

24/7 crisis support and listening for Indigenous peoples in BC.

Toll-free phone: 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433)

24/7 crisis support for people anywhere in BC, with interpretation available in more than 140 languages. 

Toll-free phone: 1-866-577-2525

If the child welfare system has made contact with your family, you can call Parents Legal Centres to find out if you qualify for a free lawyer and an advocate. Parents Legal Centres may be able to provide legal help and representation, advocacy, and referrals.

Legal services for Indigenous people, focused on criminal law and child protection. In-person services in Merritt, Prince Rupert, and Prince George. Virtual services for the rest of BC. To qualify for virtual services, people must not be eligible for legal aid or must have exhausted legal aid.                     


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We encourage you to fill out our online feedback form if you have any questions or comments about Kids Are Only Kids Once. We value learning from our community.



Our sincere thanks to all those who contributed to the development of this documentary.

Video Production

Alysha Collie, Soowahlie First Nation

3 Crows Productions


Dallas Yellowfly, Siksika First Nation

3 Crows Productions



Blue Thunderbird Woman (Heather Spence), Treaty 1 Territory

Indigenous Coordinator, PACK (Parents Advocating Collectively for Kin)

Indigenous Peer Expert/Co-Creator, KANDU (Knowledging All Nations and Developing Unity)


Katt Cadieux, Opaskwayak Cree Nation

Executive Director/Founder

UNDU (Uniting Northern Drug Users UNDU’ing Stigma)


Keri Guelke

Administrator/Respite Worker

PACK (Parents Advocating Collectively for Kin)


Patricia Dawn, Metis/Nehiyawewin Ancestry

Guest on the traditional territories of the Hul’qumi’num-speaking Peoples 


Red Willow Womyn’s Society

Mitakuye Oyasin (All My Relations)


Raji Mangat

Executive Director

West Coast LEAF


Willow Morgan

President, BC/Yukon Association of Drug War Survivors

Founding Member, Wild Women of the North Society



Children’s Blessing Song

Written by Sherryl Sewepagaham, Cree-Dene from Little Red River Cree Nation


Women’s Warrior Song

Used with permission of Elder Martina Pierre, Lil’wat First Nation



Car Andres, q̓ic̓əy̓ (Katzie) First Nation

Deanna Miller, q̓ic̓əy̓ (Katzie) First Nation



Matt Hitch


Legal volunteers

Agnes Huang

Nancy Brar


Special thanks

Breezie Meeches, Long Plain First Nation

Jade Spence, Sandy Bay First Nation

Jaycee Spence, Long Plain First Nation

Jordi Meeches, Long Plain First Nation

The Josephy Family

Joshua Pelletier

Keifer Spence, Long Plain First Nation


Kori Smith, Long Plain First Nation



Roberts Roost Resort Quesnel


Sydney Spence, Sandy Bay First Nation

Trinity Mcleod

True Giesinger

Tyra Spence, Sandy Bay First Nation


Others who chose not to be named


This film was made possible by generous funding from the Law Foundation of BC

Law Foundation of BC