Earlier this month an Ontario court ruled that the federal government is liable to thousands of Indigenous individuals in Ontario who were taken from their communities to be adopted by non-Indigenous families (see this news story). Lawsuits on behalf of individuals in Manitoba have also been filed. This practice – which took place across the country – is often referred to as the “Sixties Scoop.”
The Sixties Scoop refers to a period from approximately the early 1960s to the late 1980s. (In Saskatchewan the Sixties Scoop included a program called AIM – Adopt Indian and Metis.) We found an extraordinary mention of this program in the Winnipeg Free Press, May 5, 1972 edition. The clipping is from an advice column at the time called “Successful Living by Doris Clark.” In it a reader inquires about the possibility of a “black market in native children.”
The ‘Sixties Scoop’ – Chapter 14, Volume 1, Report of the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry of Manitoba. This chapter of the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry provides an excellent description of the Sixties Scoop and how it was enacted in Manitoba.
Sixties Scoop – Indigenous Foundations, University of British Columbia . The Indigenous Foundations site from the University of British Columbia provides introductory information about a range of Indigenous-related topics. Their page about the Sixties Scoop gives an overview about what happened and also talks a bit about how child welfare policies changed over time. There is also a section about the current state of child welfare systems and Indigenous peoples. The bibliography on the page links to other useful resources.
First Nations Child Welfare in Manitoba (2011) – Anna Kozlowski, Vandna Sinha, Tara Petti, & Elsie Flette This short article provides a history of the “First Nations child welfare system in Manitoba,” beginning with residential schools and ending with a description of how the current system is structured. A list of child welfare agencies – and the communities they serve – is provided. The information was current as of 2011.
Local filmmaker Coleen Rajotte directed the documentary Confronting the Past, which is available to borrow from our collection. “This three-part series offers an in-depth look at the history and impact of Aboriginal adoption in Canada, with particular emphasis on the “Sixties scoop” the time during the 1960s when many Aboriginal children were sent to families outside Canada. Through the eyes of adoptees and their families, the series looks at the effects of adoption, exploring a range of emotions and experiences from a variety of angles.”
Here are a few related book suggestions from a previous blog post “Children in Care” .
As always, if you have questions about this topic or any other, please be in touch. We are here to help find the information you need.