The time they took us away: faces of the Sixties Scoop

These are just a few of the Indigenous Canadians who were apprehended or forced into adoptive families as part of the Sixties Scoop phenomenon that spanned three decades and robbed them of their family, identity and culture.

They are the faces of survivors. They share feelings of loss and being disconnected, but they also share the same resolve to move forward and heal.

Today, they are finding lost loved ones, relearning their languages and demanding an explanation. These survivors are reclaiming what was lost.

David Chartrand was 'snatched, taken and sold.'… Read more

Sixties Scoop survivors say birth records 'mysteriously' lost or destroyed

When Lori Ann O'Cheek went to search for her birth records, she was told her files burned in a fire. When Carla Williams asked a different agency for her birth records, she too was told they burned in a fire. Likewise Trevor Bass. Likewise Jessica Sear.

Wayne Snellgrove, on the other hand, was not told his birth records were destroyed. He was told there were none to begin with… Read more

'Alex, where are you?': the search for a brother lost since Sixties Scoop

Margaret Sutherland wants her brother Alex to know his siblings love him and miss him. But they have no clue where to find him.

Those are the bittersweet sentiments that haunt Alex's six siblings, decades after they were separated by the Sixties Scoop.

"Does he know about us? Does he hate us for what happened?" Sutherland says. "Does he know we still exist? Or who to blame? Because it wasn't our fault. We were just children."… Read more

Barb Desjarlais learns fate of missing mother in MMIW case through DNA test

DNA tests have confirmed that the remains of a woman found in the Red River in Winnipeg three years ago belong to Audrey Desjarlais, providing some long-awaited closure in a case of a missing indigenous woman.

Her identity was determined only after a CBC investigation prompted police to finally respond to the daughter's plea for a DNA test.

Barb Desjarlais long suspected the unidentified woman was her mother. She learned the results Thursday morning, when authorities arrived at her Regina home with the news… Read more

Sayisi Dene react to long-awaited apology for relocation

Eva Yassie shielded her eyes from the hot, glowing sun as she listened to the government issue a formal apology to Manitoba's Sayisi Dene this week.

But while the setting was bright — a brilliant summer day, surrounded by lush northern foliage — it wasn't quite enough to light up the dark of Dene Village.

"It's a start," Yassie said, with a slight shrug of her shoulders. "I don't know."… Read more

Pe-kīwēwin Launches Website

Pē-kīwēwin is a 5 year SSHRC funded project which seeks to understand how Canada’s Indigenous Policy– from the residential school era, through to today’s Child Welfare system, has resulted in a national Indigenous Child Removal System (ICRS). Our focus will be on policies between the late 1940s and 1985, which created a system of Indigenous Child Removal that goes beyond the “60’s Scoop” to include the ongoing overrepresentation of Indigenous children living away from their families, communities and culture as adoptees and ‘wards’ of the Canadian government.

Through archival research and interviews with Indigenous Adoptees, Foster survivors, Foster and Adoptive Parents, and professionals in the field of Indigenous Adoption and Child Welfare/Removal our project will begin the much-needed process of mapping Indigenous Child Removal in Canada.

Documentary features Cindy Blackstock’s fight for equality for Indigenous children

Filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin’s latest film tells the story of SSHRC alumna Cindy Blackstock and the nine-year battle she led to prove that the Canadian federal government discriminated against Indigenous children living on reserves. The National Film Board documentary, We Can't Make the Same Mistake Twice, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 13, 2016.

A member of the Gitxsan First Nation, Cindy Blackstock has 25 years of social work experience in child protection and Indigenous children’s rights. She is the executive director of the First Nations Child & Family Caring Society of Canada, director of equity and diversity for the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, and a professor at McGill University’s School of Social Work.

In 2007, Blackstock received a Canada Graduate Scholarship from SSHRC while completing her PhD in social work at the University of Toronto. She was most recently a co-applicant for two projects receiving 2015 Insight Grant awards: one looking at child welfare service delivery for Indigenous children, and the other a historical examination of child welfare policy shifts and their impacts on adopted Indigenous children.

Healing Walk

Aboriginal adoptees forced from their families by the Canadian government in the Sixties Scoop are meeting in Winnipeg this weekend to share their experiences and look at ways to heal.

The gathering, dubbed Connecting Our Spirits, brings together a number of survivors to work through the loss and reflect on their experiences. The event began Friday at the University of Winnipeg and runs until Sunday.

Between the 1960s and 1980s, an estimated 20,000 indigenous children were taken from their parents by child-welfare workers and placed with mostly white families across Canada and the United States. As a result, many lost touch with their culture and traditional language.