Beginning in the late 1950’s and continuing through to the 1980’s and beyond, thousands of children across Canada were removed by child welfare agencies from the care of their families and Indigenous communities and placed in non-Indigenous foster and adoptive homes around the world. While some adoptive families did their best to love and care for these children, what is now commonly referred to as the Sixties Scoop is recognized as a practice of forced cultural assimilation.
On February 14, 2017 Ontario Superior Court Justice Edward Belobaba historically ordered that the government is liable for the harm caused by these actions.
“As governors, not knowing the impact of culturally oppressive practices is no longer acceptable. Whether intentional or by unconscious ignorance, these practices were never acceptable. Ignorance cannot be an excuse for oppression. On behalf of the board of Directors, I extend our sincere apologies to the children, parents and grandparents who have been separated by, and experienced harm from, the colonialized practices of the Kawartha-Haliburton Children’s Aid Society. Children are the cornerstone of your community and culture, and our actions interfered with, disrupted and traumatized generations of Indigenous families.” – Rod Sutherland, KHCAS Board President
“The Kawartha-Haliburton Children’s Aid Society recognizes that our greatest accountabilities for our actions are to Indigenous families and First Nation communities to whom we serve. Today, we have come to your community upon the invitation of Chief Carr, to speak directly to families, children and community members. We apologize to you for the harmful actions that we have undertaken that contributed to the 60’s Scoop and still has impact today, to the separation of children from your families, culture and community. We apologize to the generations of mothers, fathers, and grandparents who were denied the opportunity to raise your children, and for removing your children without consideration of the rights of Indigenous people and communities. Most importantly, we acknowledge that Intergenerational trauma from abuse, neglect, and cultural genocide related to the Residential School systems left many parents and families ill-equipped to manage relationships and to parent in meaningful ways. We apologize that we did not, as an organization mobilize to support, understand and recognize the impact of inter-generational trauma nor your rights as Indigenous people to protect your land, your treaties and most especially your children.” – Jennifer Wilson, KHCAS Executive Director