Métis Nation announces Engagement Sessions for Métis Sixties Scoop Survivors

l-r: Gary Lipinski (President, MNO), David Chartrand (President, MMF), Melanie Omeniho (President, WMN), Clément Chartier (President, MNC), Audrey Poitras (President, MNA), Bruce Dumont (President, MNBC) - Photo MNC website.

(Ottawa) – Engagement sessions across the Métis Homeland hosted by Métis Nation Governing Members will be held over the next two months for Métis survivors of the ‘Sixties Scoop’.

As a follow up to the National Symposium on Métis 60s Scoop Survivors that brought together Métis survivors and their families, held in Winnipeg on October 19-21, 2018, these engagement sessions will hear further from Métis 60s Scoop survivors from across Canada. These engagement sessions will help inform the federal government in addressing the legacy of the 60s Scoop on the Métis and to reconcile its harmful effects.

The engagement sessions will be held in the following locations:

Manitoba Metis Federation
March 15-17, 2019 – Swan River, Manitoba
March 22-24, 2019 – Winnipeg, Manitoba

Métis Nation of Alberta ​
March 29-31, 2019 – Edmonton, Alberta

Métis Nation – Saskatchewan
April 5-7, 2019 – Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Métis Nation of Ontario
April 12-14, 2019 – Toronto, Ontario

Métis Nation British Columbia
April 26-28, 2019 – Richmond, British Columbia

Métis 60s Scoop survivors and their families are encouraged to participate and can find information on all the sessions at www.sixties.scoop.metisportals.ca or by calling toll free: 1-800-928-6330 ext 532.

At each engagement session, Métis 60s Scoop survivors and their families will be hosted in a safe, respectful, culturally based environment. It is an opportunity for survivors to meet with other survivors and to access support and counselling if required.

The ‘Sixties Scoop’ spans an era from the 1950s through 1990s during which thousands of Indigenous children were apprehended by provincial Child and Family agencies, placed in foster homes and adopted by non-Indigenous families throughout Canada and the United States. In 2016, the federal government announced that it would settle numerous civil lawsuits related to the Sixties Scoop initiated by First Nations and Inuit in Canada.

“This is one of many ways that survivors will have the opportunity to share their insights into the development of a Métis Nation Sixties Scoop resolution. It is important to us that survivors are given every chance to join in and be heard to help shape how this work will be done,” says Clément Chartier, President of the Métis National Council.

“We know our survivors have suffered and continue to struggle with the trauma experienced at the hands of Canada. The intergenerational impacts are still being felt by our families and survivors today,” states David Chartrand, Métis National Council Vice-President and Minister of Social Development, noting that healing the survivor will heal the family, community and ultimately bring peace to the Métis Nation.

While the First Nations and Inuit have achieved reconciliation through civil action lawsuits against Canada, the Métis Nation is taking an unprecedented approach to reconciliation based on its nation-to-nation relationship with Canada. These engagement sessions will inform the Métis Nation on how it works with Canada on this issue to advance reconciliation concerns.

The MNC represents the Métis Nation in Canada at the national and international levels. The Métis Nation’s homeland includes the 3 Prairie Provinces and extends into the contiguous parts of British Columbia, Ontario, the Northwest Territories and the United States. There are approximately 400,000 Métis Nation citizens in Canada, roughly a quarter of all Aboriginal peoples in the country.

Background: Métis Nation and the Sixties Scoop

From 1951 to 1991 the governments and churches of this country pursued the wholesale removal of Métis children from their parents and families. These removals were part of a larger system of colonization, a system that included the residential and day schools, the dispossession of land, and the destruction of Métis communities. Today it is unusual to find a Métis family or community who has not been impacted by the Sixties Scoop.

A Different Approach: Reconciliation for Métis Nation Sixties Scoop Survivors

The Métis Nation and the government of Canada are working on a nation-to-nation basis to reconcile the wrongs perpetrated against the people of the Métis Nation during the Sixties Scoop. David Chartrand, Métis Nation Minister of Social Development, called on the federal government for a Métis Nation specific process guided and informed by Métis survivors leading to reconciliation.

National Symposium: Initial Engagement with Métis Nation Sixties Scoop Survivors

As an important early step, a Métis Nation Sixties Scoop National Symposium was held in Winnipeg, Manitoba from October 19 to 21, 2018. The Symposium brought together Métis Sixties Scoop survivors, their family members, leaders, Elders, counsellors, and other stakeholders.

During the Symposium, survivors shared the devastating trauma of abuse, cultural genocide and the inter-generational impacts of being stolen from their families. Survivors who had found and returned to their birth families spoke of their healing journey through repatriation initiatives such as the Manitoba Metis Federation Lost Moccasin program. They also directed the Métis Nation to conduct regional and local sessions with Sixties Scoop survivors across the Métis Nation Homeland.

Next Steps: Engaging the Regions, Building a Framework for Reconciliation

In keeping with the direction from Sixties Scoop survivors and their family members at the Nation Symposium, upcoming engagement sessions will focus on hearing directly from Métis survivors and their families. A “What we Heard Report” will be produced to inform a Métis Nation Sixties Scoop framework that focuses on reconciliation, repatriation, healing and justice for Métis Nation Sixties Scoop survivors.


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