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OPSEU releases video on the “Sixties Scoop”

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A video that documents the “Sixties Scoop” – the practice of taking the children of Indigenous parents from their homes for placement in adoption agencies or foster care that started in the 1960s and continues to this day – was released today at a special screening in Ottawa.

The video, titled, “Coming Home: Sixties Scoop Survivors Reclaim their Culture,” is based on stories and recollections of children and their parents who lived through the experience of being taken, sometimes forcefully, from their homes or schools.

The documentary, produced by the Indigenous Mobilization Team (IMT) of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU), is one element of the union’s campaign to draw attention to survivors of the Sixties Scoop. It was screened today for the first time at the Third National Bi-Giwen Indigenous Survivors of Child Welfare Network conference.

“Social service workers in the 1960s found themselves enforcing unjust policies without cultural sensitivity and without questioning the impact of their decisions on the lives of others,” said Darlene Kaboni, chair of OPSEU’s Sixties Scoop campaign. “This video reminds them of their power to organize and become part of the solution.”

The idea for the video came from a meeting hosted by the IMT this past May that drew together Sixties Scoop survivors, Indigenous leaders and frontline social workers. Together, the group committed themselves to seek healing and justice for all who were impacted by the practice of arbitrarily removing young people from their homes. They pledged that the practice must never be repeated.

Colleen Cardinal, a Sixties Scoop survivor and co-founder of the Child Welfare Network, said the video is “an important part of my healing journey, in addition to raising awareness and building solidarity and understanding between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities.”

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas congratulated the union’s IMT for getting the video production off the ground.  “It represents another important step in the reconciliation process that goes beyond words and statements of support,” he said.

Watch the video below

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For more information:   Darlene Kaboni   705-618-0024  or dpkaboni@gmail.com, Colleen Cardinal  colleenhele@yahoo.com