This book for students examines a child welfare policy in Canada that began in 1951 in which Indigenous children were taken from their homes and put into the care of non-Indigenous families. These children grew up without their birth families, cultural roots and language. Many tried to run away and some died in the attempt. The taking of the children became known as the Sixties Scoop. The term “Sixties Scoop” makes explicit reference to the 1960s, but the policies and practices started before the 1960s and lasted long after. Today, Indigenous children are over-represented in the Child Welfare System across Canada in shocking numbers.
Indigenous communities got organized and fought back for their children. In 1985, the Kimelman Report was released, condemning the practice of adopting Indigenous children into non-Indigenous families and for taking so many children out of their communities.
In the 1990s, lawsuits were filed against the governments who had supported taking the children. In 2018 and 2019, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba apologized for their roles in supporting the adoption programs. In 2020, the Canadian government agreed to a settlement for survivors of the Scoop.
Through hundreds of photos and primary documents, readers will meet many survivors of the Scoop. They’ll also learn how Indigenous communities fought back to save their children and won, and how Indigenous communities across Canada are working towards healing today.
ANDREW BOMBERRY works with the Legacy of Hope Foundation to promote greater understanding and awareness of the Residential School system, the Sixties Scoop and their ongoing impacts. This work includes encouraging informed action and follow-up on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action. He has over ten years’ experience working in public policy and education covering Indigenous histories, cultures and identities. Andrew Bomberry is Haudenosaunee from the Six Nations of the Grand River territory.
JANE HUBBARD is the Director of Education at the Legacy of Hope Foundation. Jane is a settler and an ally who has been working alongside Indigenous Peoples for many years. She started as a Researcher at the Aboriginal Healing Foundation, where she gained a deeper understanding of the Residential School System in Canada, its history and its ongoing impacts. She lives in Ottawa, Ontario, on the unceded territory of the Algonquin Peoples.