The Sixties Scoop refers to the mass removal of Indigenous children from their homes, families, and communities through the 1960s. The provincial social workers assigned to reserves assessed child safety and welfare by mainstream cultural (European, Christian) standards. They received little or no training in Indigenous cultures. They were not trained to recognize problems rooted in generations of trauma related to the residential schools. Instead, they passed judgment on what they considered bad or neglectful parenting. As a result, beginning in the 1960s, provincial child welfare workers removed thousands of children from Indigenous communities. It has been called the “Sixties Scoop.”
Indigenous children were placed in non-Indigenous, white, Euro-Christian homes across Canada, in the United States, and even overseas, with no attempt to preserve their culture, identity, and language. The mass adoptions continued between 1960 and 1990.
The Sixties Scoop children suffered much the same effects as children who were placed in residential schools. Indigenous children adopted or placed with white foster parents were sometimes abused. They suffered from identity confusion, low self-esteem, addictions, lower levels of educational achievement, and unemployment. They sometimes experienced disparagement and almost always suffered from dislocation and denial of their Indigenous identity.
Through a lawsuit against the Canadian government in the 1990s, it was substantiated that the federal government did not protect the cultural identity of Indigenous children who were unrightfully taken from their homes.
If you are a survivor of the Sixties Scoop, please visit Sixties Scoop Settlement on eligibility for compensation.
For access to your case record with Kawartha-Haliburton Children’s Aid Society, please contact the Centralized Intake Department at 1-800-661-2843.