SCO and Anish Corporation to Host International Gathering for Sixties Scoop Survivors

March 18, 2024

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 18, 2024

ANISHINAABE AND DAKOTA TERRITORY, MB — The Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO), in collaboration with Anish Corporation, is set to welcome Survivors of the Sixties Scoop from across Turtle Island and the world to Treaty One Territory, for an International Sixties Scoop Gathering. The “Finding our Spirits” Gathering will take place April 28 and 29, 2024, at the Hilton Winnipeg Airport Suites in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

“The Sixties Scoop was another dark chapter in the epidemic rates of apprehension of First Nations children,” stated SCO Grand Chief Jerry Daniels “The Finding our Spirits Gathering will provide an opportunity for Sixties Scoop Survivors to gather and focus on healing and reconnect with the Nations and families they were taken from. We acknowledge the systemic harm and generational trauma that was caused by the removal of Survivors and we are working to provide support for healing.”

The event is specifically for Sixties Scoop Survivors with the intent to focus on healing and connection. The conference will include a ‘welcoming home’ ceremony, healing activities, a sacred fire, mental wellness supports, and cultural support available throughout the conference. The gathering will feature keynote addresses focused on Sixties Scoop supports, trauma and grief, attachment, and more. The SCO Status Card Program will be onsite to provide information and assist with registration application for status cards.

The Sixties Scoop, also known as “The Scoop,” was a period of time in which a series of federal and provincial policies were enacted that enabled child welfare authorities to take First Nation children from their families and Nations for placement in foster and adoptive homes, with many children ending up in the United States and some as far away as Europe and Australia. This harmful action was based on the racist idea that First Nations families were not qualified to raise their own children. In most cases, the “scooped” children were adopted by non-Indigenous families. The removal of First Nations children started in the mid-1950s and continued until 1990, with the height of the Scoop taking place during the 1960s.

“As a Sixties Scoop Survivor, I know personally the need to support healing opportunities for Survivors and the need to raise awareness of the impact of the Sixties Scoop,” said Chief Gordon Bluesky of the Brokenhead Ojibway Nation. “I am pleased and proud to see SCO partner with Anish Corporation to host an international gathering on this important issue. It is essential to continue the work to support Sixties Scoop Survivors in reconnecting with their Nations and on their healing journeys.”

SCO and Anish Corporation eagerly await the moment when we welcome Sixties Scoop Survivors from around the world to our territories.

There is no cost to register for the gathering; however, space is limited, and registration is required. Limited funding is available for travel and will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis as registrations are received. Please register online as soon as possible and by April 1, 2024.

The Pathways to Healing Program Sixties Scoop & Child Welfare System Liaison provides information, advocacy, systems navigation, and referrals to support Survivors of the Sixties Scoop. For more information on SCO’s Pathways to Healing Program, please visit our website.

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The Southern Chiefs’ Organization represents 34 First Nations and more than 87,000 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.

For media inquiries:

Email: Media@scoinc.mb.ca