Treaty One Territory, Winnipeg, MB – Today, Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO), Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO), and the 60s Scoop Legacy of Canada are calling on the federal government to commission a national inquiry into the Sixties Scoop and the removal of First Nations children from their communities.
“We still don’t really know how many children were taken, where they were taken to, how many died while in adoptive or foster homes, and to what extent Indigenous children and families have been affected,” Katherine Legrange, director at the 60s Scoop Legacy of Canada said. “Survivors have expressed the need to share their lived experiences in a meaningful way, to be acknowledged and validated as Survivors of this horrific period, and to make concrete recommendations to keep Indigenous families together.”
From about 1951 to 1982, thousands of Indigenous children were “scooped” from their families and placed in non-Indigenous homes as a result of government policies. It has been estimated that there were more than 20,000 First Nations children who were “scooped” from their families. Survivors and their families believe that this number is much higher.
Recently, Chiefs of MKO and SCO unanimously passed resolutions in support of the 60s Scoop Legacy’s call for a national inquiry into the Sixties Scoop and for long-term funding support for Survivors.
“In August 2021, the Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Chiefs-in-Assembly unanimously voted in support of a resolution calling for a national inquiry into the Sixties Scoop and the permanent removal of First Nations children by the Government of Canada,” shared MKO Grand Chief Garrison Settee. “It is crucial we examine and document the truths of Survivors and families of the Sixties Scoop/First Nations child removal; provide tangible and necessary support for adoptees and former Crown Wards and their families; and bring healing to our people and communities. MKO also supports the call from the 60s Scoop Legacy of Canada for a formal apology to Survivors and families impacted by the Sixties Scoop and permanent child removal.”
“The Sixties Scoop legacy was just a continuation of violent and ignorant policies that were designed by Canada to disrupt and destroy First Nations families and communities, added SCO Grand Chief Jerry Daniels. “By attacking the family structures and incentivizing the apprehension of our families by not only the church, but now Canadian and foreign families, they made everyday citizens complicit in the violence and reliant on the financial compensation it came with. That is the definition of state-sponsored violence and why there are so many court cases now. The Chiefs of southern Manitoba have passed a resolution at our recent summit in September 2021 calling for a national inquiry into the Sixties Scoop, and the immediate release of any records held by state or church-run entities to expedite the process of bringing families back together and to bring some closure”.
For more information, please contact:
Melanie Ferris, Communications Officer
Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak
Al Foster, Senior Correspondent
Southern Chiefs’ Organization
Katherine Legrange, Director
60s Scoop Legacy of Canada
The 60s Scoop Legacy of Canada is a national, non-profit peer support group for adoptees/Survivors and families of child welfare and the Sixties Scoop.
Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO) Inc. is a non-profit, political advocacy organization that provides a collective voice on issues of inherent, Treaty, Aboriginal, and human rights for the citizens of the 26 sovereign First Nations we represent. The MKO First Nations are signatory to Treaties 4, 5, 6, and 10.
Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) represents 34 Anishinaabe and Dakota Nations and more than 80,500 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.