NationTalk: ANISHINAABE AND DAKOTA TERRITORY, MB — Today, the Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) is launching a new education and awareness campaign. “Stronger Than the Scoop” will focus on honouring and caring for Survivors of the Sixties Scoop and their families.
“We often talk about resilience when it comes to our peoples, and that certainly applies to those who survived the Sixties Scoop,” stated SCO Grand Chief Jerry Daniels. “The Sixties Scoop was another dark chapter in what was an epidemic of First Nations child apprehension, starting with residential schools. We need to acknowledge the systemic harm and generational trauma that was caused and do what we can to help with healing.”
The Sixties Scoop, also known as “The Scoop,” was a period in which a series of federal and provincial policies were enacted in Canada that enabled authorities in child welfare to take First Nation children from their families and Nations for placement in foster and adoptive homes based on the racist idea that First Nations families were not qualified to raise their own children. In many cases, the “scooped” children were adopted by non-Indigenous families. The removal of First Nations children during the Sixties Scoop took place mostly in the 1960s.
Similar to the residential and day school systems, the Sixties Scoop was another method used by colonial governments intent on removing First Nation children from their families, and wiping out First Nations cultures and traditions. By forcing First Nations children to live with non-First Nation families, those cultural and ancestral ties were often destroyed.
“I extend gratitude to the National Sixties Scoop Healing Foundation of Canada for providing support to raise awareness of the impact of the Sixties Scoop,” said Chief Gordon Bluesky of the Brokenhead Ojibway First Nation. “I am pleased and proud to see SCO create this campaign to help bring awareness to this practice that continues to impact our citizens. It is essential that all citizens in Canada learn the truth about the practice and the ongoing impact of the Sixties Scoop.”
The National Sixties Scoop Healing Foundation of Canada aims to help all Survivors of the Sixties Scoop. The Foundation has provided funding for this education campaign.
Meanwhile, SCO is focusing its’ efforts on Survivors from our member Nations. These include an upcoming Survivors’ Healing Gathering in Winnipeg later this week, which will feature keynote speaker Colleen Cardinal Hele, Executive Director of the National Indigenous Survivors of Child Welfare Network. Ms. Cardinal Hele is also a Survivor of the Sixties Scoop.
This education and awareness campaign will also help SCO enhance our current programs and services that are geared towards Survivors of The Scoop, including our Pathways to Healing Program. Survivors can find details about upcoming workshops and sharing circles on our website.
“While we cannot turn back the hands of time, we can still commit to doing everything we possibly can to help our Survivors and their families regain their languages, cultures, and identities,” concluded Grand Chief Daniels. “I call on everyone who now shares this land to learn about the Sixties Scoop, about the devastating effects it had on our peoples, and to help us ensure that we do everything we can to help those impacted, with their collective healing journey. To our Survivors: I see you and I honour you for what you have experienced. I stand with you as you move forward on your healing journeys.”
The Southern Chiefs’ Organization represents 34 First Nations and more than 85,500 citizens in what is now called southern Manitoba. SCO is an independent political organization that protects, preserves, promotes, and enhances First Nations peoples’ inherent rights, languages, customs, and traditions through the application and implementation of the spirit and intent of the Treaty-making process.
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