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1960 - Sixties Scoop: the mass removal of Aboriginal children from their families into the child welfare system

This is also known as the "Stolen Generations," because some people dislike the terminology of "scooping," and the removal of children from Aboriginal homes was not limited to the 1960's. Many people associate the term Stolen Generation with the Indigenous people of Australia, but it also applies here in Canada and the United States. - apihtawikosisan

 

In 1951, twenty-nine Aboriginal children were in provincial care in British Columbia; by 1964, that number was 1,466. Aboriginal children, who had comprised only 1 percent of all children in care, came to make up just over 34 percent. -Liberating Our Children Report

 

The term Sixties Scoop was coined by Patrick Johnston, author of the 1983 report Native Children and the Child Welfare System. It refers to the mass removal of Aboriginal children from their families into the child welfare system, in most cases without the consent of their families or bands. An estimated 20,000 Aboriginal children were taken from their families and fostered or adopted out to primarily white middle-class families over this decade.

 

In the 1960s, the child welfare system did not require, nor did it expect, social workers to have specific training in dealing with children in Aboriginal communities. Many of these social workers were completely unfamiliar with the culture or history of the Aboriginal communities they entered. What they believed constituted proper care was generally based on middle-class Euro-Canadian values. For example, when social workers entered the homes of families subsisting on a traditional Aboriginal diet of dried game, fish, and berries, and didn’t see fridges or cupboards stocked in typical Euro-Canadian fashion, they assumed that the adults in the home were not providing for their children.  - Indigenous Foundations UBC

Digging Deeper

Media Indigena Podcast: Sixties Scoop, Survivors take Canada to Court

"SYNOPSIS: The so-called ‘Sixties Scoop’ removed thousands of Aboriginal kids from a number of provinces over that decade and beyond. But, this week, it was an Ontario court that heard the latest phase of a class action suit seeking compensation for what survivors say Canada denied them: rightful access to “Aboriginal customs, traditions and practices.” Our guest is Raven Sinclair, associate professor of social work at the University of Regina, and a Scoop survivor herself." -MediaIndigena.com

The Liberating Our Children Report. Broken Promises: Parents speak about B.C.'s Child Welfare System -Link

 

 

 

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