December 18, 2018, Winnipeg, MB – This morning at the Manitoba Metis Federation Home Office in Winnipeg, Métis National Council Minister of Social Development, David Chartrand, launched the Métis Nation Sixties Scoop Portal. This new, online platform will support the information needs of the Métis Nation related to the Sixties Scoop. The Portal can be accessed at Sixties.Scoop.Metisportals.CA.
Developed by the Métis National Council with support from the Manitoba Metis Federation, the Métis Nation Sixties Scoop Portal is intended to be the central hub for information, news and events related to the Sixties Scoop for the Métis Nation. The Portal will allow Métis Nation Sixties Scoop Survivors and all Métis Nation Citizens to access up-to-date information that is essential in the development of a Métis Nation Sixties Scoop resolution agreement between the Métis Nation and the Government of Canada.
The “Sixties Scoop” is a term used to describe a child welfare policy, developed and implemented starting as early as 1951, that involved apprehending Indigenous children from their birth families and placing them in middle-class, Euro-Canadian homes hundreds or thousands of miles away from the children’s communities. The Government of Canada and the Métis National Council have agreed to work collaboratively, Nation-to-Nation, to develop a process to address the legacy of the Sixties Scoop. This process will be informed and guided by Métis Survivors. As first steps in this process, the Métis Nation is documenting the stories of Métis Survivors who were taken from their homes and families during the Sixties Scoop and gathering Métis Survivors’ contact information to ensure that the Métis Government can remain in contact with Survivors regarding any new developments and initiatives.
“Reconciliation of our Sixties Scoop Survivors is paramount,” said Chartrand at the launch. “It is our responsibility, as the Métis Government, to right the wrongs that Métis Survivors suffered while enduring this cultural genocide. Going forward, we seek justice. We seek to correct and rectify the legacy of this dark chapter in Canada’s history. We will not fail Métis Survivors.”
“The launch of the Métis Nation Sixties Scoop portal is a reflection of the Métis Nation’s commitment to Métis Sixties Scoop Survivors. As the Métis Nation advances on an array of wrongs committed to Métis Nation citizens, let us remind ourselves that our work will never be complete until injustices toward our Survivors are addressed and Métis Nation Survivors are reunited with their families and communities”, stated President Chartier.
The “Sixties Scoop” was a child welfare policy developed and implemented in 1951’s that involved apprehending First Nations, Métis and Inuit children from their communities and placing them, in most cases, into middle-class Euro-Canadian families. First Nation, Métis and Inuit children were often placed within these homes that were hundreds, or sometimes, thousands of miles away from their families. The intergenerational aftereffects of the Sixties Scoop contribute to the current socioeconomic difficulties facing Métis citizens.
Social workers, administrators, lawyers, government officials, and judges viewed everyday practices of apprehending children from families to be in the best interest of the child. The ideal home that a child should be places in was one that society was familiar with; white middle class homes, in white middle class neighbourhoods. These societal ideals wrongly disparaged Métis customs and traditions. They thought we were poor and they didn’t think we would be good parents. Métis children were apprehended because of the incongruence of these two different worldviews, sometimes at birth, and placed into the care of non-indigenous homes through the Adopt an Indian-Métis program (AIM). The legacy of AIM program is now referred to as the “Sixties Scoop”.
On December 18, 2018, Métis Nation Minister of Social Development, President of the Manitoba Metis Federation, and lead on the Sixties Scoop file, David Chartrand announced the Métis Nation’s support for Métis Nation Sixties Scoop Survivors information needs.
In February 2018, the Ontario court sided with plaintiffs in a Sixties Scoop class action that the federal government was liable for the harm done to Indigenous children who were placed into foster care in non-Aboriginal homes. The experiences of Métis people were ignored. They were completely left out of the federal government’s multimillion-dollar settlement with First Nations and Inuit victims of the Sixties Scoop between 1951 and 1991. The failure of Canada to recognize and honour the experience of Métis survivors of the Sixties Scoop remains an unresolved issue for the Métis Nation
The Métis National Council along with the five Governing Members (Manitoba Metis Federation, Métis Nation-Saskatchewan, Métis Nation of Alberta, Métis Nation British Columbia, and Métis Nation of Ontario) will host a series of consultations with Métis Nation Sixties Scoop Survivors in order to develop a Métis Nation Sixties Scoop framework to be used to negotiate a settlement agreement with Métis Nation Sixties Scoop Survivors.
The Métis Nation Sixties Scoop Survivors Portal allows Métis Nation Sixties Scoop Survivors and Citizens to:
- access Sixties Scoop information on events and activities happening in the Métis Nation;
- add their contact information; and,
- Assist in ability to have their voices heard
- Connecting Survivors in order to offer each other support
- Education and learning for those who don’t
- Directly connect with a Métis Nation Sixties Scoop Advisor