She can be fined or jailed or both, but a woman we’re calling “Twitter Mom” says it’s worth the risk.
“I met with an elder once and he had told me to share my story in the open,” she said. “And from there it went forward.”
Now, the elder didn’t say go public on social media, but that’s what Twitter Mom is doing.
She’s sharing pictures of her home, business and children, along with details of her dealings with two child welfare agencies that have custody of her sons.
The information is all in a series of tweets she hopes will pressure social workers to reunite her family.
“Pretty much the agency is saying that I’m not co-operating,” she said in an interview.
“But I find how can you co-operate with somebody who has had your kids for 10 years?”
How her children wound up in care and everything she has done to free them is now on Twitter.
It’s something the agencies, which are protected by a powerful privacy law, don’t like.
“They tried to quiet me by saying that they were going to sue me, charge me with a $50,000 fine and two years in jail,” Twitter Mom said.
The penalties apply to news organizations like APTN, too. That’s why we can’t publish her real name or show her face.
Her friend, artist and Indigenous rights activist Christie Belcourt, can’t believe the family was ripped apart.
“She’s a victim of domestic violence. CFS should have supported her and her kids to be together during that time,” she said.
“Her story is a lot of people’s story. It’s also one of the worst cases that I’ve ever heard.”
Twitter Mom shared those details with the online world, too, tweeting out how she and her son were abused by her husband and the boys’ father but social workers blamed her and seized the children when police questioned her.
She says she cut off contact with the father and hasn’t seen him since.
And she’s been trying to get the boys back the entire time.
Support for her is strong on Twitter where her posts are retweeted thousands of times. People are also donating money to her legal defence fund.
She says she’s showing people how child welfare really operates.
“I feel that I’m a voice for a lot of women who can’t speak,” she said.
“I feel as if I’m able to be a voice on Twitter because on Twitter I have a huge audience who’s really paying attention to this issue.”
However, the government and agencies involved declined to comment, citing the privacy law.