The Sixties Scoop refers to a practice that occurred in Canada of taking, or "scooping up", Indigenous children from their families and communities for placement in foster homes or adoption. Despite the reference to one decade, the Sixties Scoop began in the late 1950s and persisted into the 1980s. It is estimated that a total of 20,000 aboriginal children were taken from their families and fostered or adopted out to primarily white middle-class families as part of the Sixties Scoop.

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  • The Sixties Scoop refers to a practice that occurred in Canada of taking, or "scooping up", Indigenous children from their families and communities for placement in foster homes or adoption. Despite the reference to one decade, the Sixties Scoop began in the late 1950s and persisted into the 1980s. It is estimated that a total of 20,000 aboriginal children were taken from their families and fostered or adopted out to primarily white middle-class families as part of the Sixties Scoop. Each province had different foster programs and adoption policies. Saskatchewan had the only targeted Indigenous transracial adoption program, called Adopt Indian Métis (AIM) Program. While most "scooped" children were placed in foster care or for adoption in Canada, some were placed in the United States or Western Europe. The term "Sixties Scoop" was coined by researcher Patrick Johnston in his 1983 report Native Children and the Child Welfare System. It is similar to the term "Baby Scoop Era," which refers to the period from the late 1950s to the 1980s when large numbers of children were taken from unmarried mothers for adoption. The continued practice of taking Indigenous, Inuit and Métis children from their families and communities and placing them in foster homes or for adoption is termed Millennium Scoop. The government policies that led to the Sixties Scoop were discontinued in the mid-1980s, after Ontario chiefs passed resolutions against them and a Manitoba judicial inquiry harshly condemned them. Associate Chief Judge Edwin C. Kimelman headed the judicial inquiry, which resulted in the publication of the No quiet place / Review Committee on Indian and Metis Adoptions and Placements, also known as the Kimelman Report. Multiple lawsuits were filed in Canada by former wards of the Sixties Scoop, including one in Ontario in 2010, and one in British Columbia in 2011. Ontario Superior Court Justice Edward Belobaba ruled on February 14, 2017, that the government was liable for the harm caused by the Sixties Scoop. Beaverhouse First Nation Chief Marcia Brown Martel was the lead plaintiff in this class action lawsuit, which was filed in Ontario nearly a decade ago. It was one of a series of class action lawsuits launched in five provinces. On October 6, 2017, an $800 million Canadian settlement was announced. National Indigenous Survivors of Child Welfare Network, a group led by Sixties Scoop survivors based in Ottawa, is advocating for the settlement to be rejected unless it includes all Indigenous people who were taken from their homes and forcibly adopted. Métis and non-status First Nations people are currently excluded from the agreement. (en)
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  • The Sixties Scoop refers to a practice that occurred in Canada of taking, or "scooping up", Indigenous children from their families and communities for placement in foster homes or adoption. Despite the reference to one decade, the Sixties Scoop began in the late 1950s and persisted into the 1980s. It is estimated that a total of 20,000 aboriginal children were taken from their families and fostered or adopted out to primarily white middle-class families as part of the Sixties Scoop. (en)
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  • Sixties Scoop (en)
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