Indigenous Adoptee Gathering 2014
Event DateSaturday, September 20, 2014 - 8:00am to Sunday, September 21, 2014 - 3:00pm
The OPSEU Aboriginal Circle is proud to support the Indigenous Adoptee Gathering that brings adoptees together in one place, to listen and validate one another`s experiences, foster healing, learning and networking in a safe environment.
This event is exclusively for Indigenous adult adoptees and foster care survivors. It is being held at:
Vanier Richelieau Community Center
300 Pères-Blancs Ave., Ottawa
Unceded Algonquin Territory
Indigenous Arts and Crafts vendors can register on the website.
- The term Sixties (60’s) Scoop was coined by Patrick Johnston in his 1983 report Native Children and the Child Welfare System. It refers to the Canadian practice, beginning in the 1960s and continuing until the late 1980s, of apprehending unusually high numbers of children of Aboriginal peoples in Canada and fostering or adopting them out, usually into non aboriginal families.
- Up to 20,000 First Nation and Métis children from the late 1950’s up to the 1980’s have been impacted by the colonial child welfare policy where thousands were forcibly and illegally taken from their ancestral territories and scattered throughout Canada, the United States and Europe in non-Indigenous households.
- Like many survivors in the Indian Residential School System, many 60’s Scoop adoptees and foster care survivors endured tremendous violence, abuse and racism in their households as they share a common experience of loss of language, ceremony, familiarity of extended family, and connection to their identity through the land. Anecdotal stories of unsuccessful efforts to reintegrate adoptees back into their extended families and territories have led many facing trauma and feeling disconnected to society. Class action lawsuits are forming across the country, similar to the Indian Residential School Settlement, that are currently making their way through the judicial system, on behalf of 60’s Scoop children.
- Not all children experienced these types of trauma, some formed a strong sense of character, the ability to carry duel identities and form strong cultural navigation skills.
- Headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario, the Indigenous Adoptee Gathering Committee is a local group of First Nations and Métis adoptee and foster care survivors that recognized the need to create a forum to let 60’s Scoop survivors express their stories and to learn from one another survival strategies as a result of their removal and displacement into non-indigenous families across Canada, the US and Europe. The complexity of these losses and removal from their respective nations has created a gap and sense of loss in their everyday lives.
- The gathering is the first of its kind in Ottawa and will be open to approximately 150 participants from around the country.
- Titled “Bi-giwen”, meaning coming home in the Algonquin language, the two-day event aims to serve as a turning point in the lives and direction of Indigenous adoptees and foster care survivors. “Bi-giwen” will serve as this gathering’s theme with activities focusing on the acknowledgement of coming home.