Statement in Support of a National Inquiry into the Sixties Scoop

November 2, 2021

The Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre (IRSHDC) joins the call by the 60’s Scoop Legacy of Canada, Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO), Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) for a national inquiry into the Sixties Scoop and ongoing removal of Indigenous children from their homes and communities.

The term “Sixties Scoop” refers to practice between approximately 1951 and 1984, when an estimated 20,000 or more First Nations, Métis and Inuit children were taken from their families by child welfare authorities and placed for adoption in mostly non-Indigenous households. The removal of Indigenous infants and children from their homes was supported by a series of government policies, and often took place without the consent, warning or even knowledge of the children’s families and communities. The continuing impacts of this policy need to be examined and documented.

“Like the Indian residential school system in Canada, the Sixties Scoop was a systemic, government-driven, strategic endeavour to break apart Indigenous families and destroy Indigenous identity, language, belonging and culture.,” says Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond (Aki-Kwe), Academic Director of the IRSHDC. “And like the residential school system, the Scoop was based on the flawed colonial premise that First Nations, Métis and Inuit children would be better served if they were transferred from their families, kinship and communities into the care of non-Indigenous foster and adoptive parents.”

The mandate of the IRSHDC is, in part, to address the colonial legacy of residential schools and other policies imposed by the Canadian government on Indigenous Peoples, and to ensure that this history is acknowledged, examined and understood. The Centre supports a process for the complete investigation and documentation of the 60s scoop and the human rights implications of the practice, including the continuing effects.

The IRSHDC fully supports the call for a formal national inquiry into the Scoop, including the release of all related records held by the federal government, provincial and territorial governments and / or appointed entities. We also support the call for a public apologies for the systemic removal of Indigenous children from families and communities by the child welfare system in Canada.

Learn more about the Child Welfare System and the Sixties Scoop.


Call from the 60’s Scoop Legacy of Canada, Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO), Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO):

Sixties Scoop, Indigenous Foundations, UBC

The Sixties Scoop: The Stolen Generation by Dr. Raven Sinclair