International Gathering in Winnipeg to Heal and Reunite Sixties Scoop Survivors

Professors and students from Lakehead University’s Anthropology department are working with Indigenous and Métis community members to excavate archaeological sites located beside the McIntyre River on the University’s Thunder Bay campus

WINNIPEG – INDIGENOUS – The Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO), in partnership with Anish Corporation, is poised to host a significant event that will bring together Survivors of the Sixties Scoop from across Turtle Island and beyond. Set against the backdrop of Treaty One Territory, this International Sixties Scoop Gathering, dubbed “Finding our Spirits,” is scheduled for April 28 and 29, 2024, at the Hilton Winnipeg Airport Suites in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

A Landmark Event for Healing and Reconnection:

SCO Grand Chief Jerry Daniels underscores the importance of this gathering as a pivotal moment for healing. “The Sixties Scoop represents a painful period in our history, marked by the widespread removal of First Nations children from their communities,” he explains. “The ‘Finding our Spirits’ Gathering aims to offer Survivors a space to heal and reconnect with their roots, acknowledging the deep-seated trauma inflicted by these actions.”

SCO and Anish Corporation Lead the Way in Survivor Support:

This event, specifically tailored for Sixties Scoop Survivors, emphasizes healing and cultural reconnection. Attendees can expect a heartfelt ‘welcoming home’ ceremony, along with healing activities, a sacred fire, and access to mental wellness and cultural supports throughout the gathering. Keynote speeches will delve into topics relevant to Sixties Scoop Survivors, including trauma, grief, and attachment.

Additionally, the SCO Status Card Program will be available on site, offering information and assistance with status card registration applications.

Understanding the Sixties Scoop: A Historical Context:

The Sixties Scoop refers to a period from the mid-1950s to 1990 when government policies facilitated the removal of First Nation children from their families and communities. This practice, driven by racially prejudiced beliefs, resulted in countless children being placed in non-Indigenous foster and adoptive homes across the globe. The peak of this practice occurred in the 1960s, leaving a lasting impact on the affected communities.

A Personal Touch: Chief Gordon Bluesky Shares His Story:

Chief Gordon Bluesky of the Brokenhead Ojibway Nation, a Sixties Scoop Survivor himself, emphasizes the significance of such gatherings for healing and awareness. “Having experienced the repercussions of the Sixties Scoop firsthand, I recognize the crucial need for supportive healing spaces for Survivors,” he states. “I commend SCO and Anish Corporation for spearheading this vital international gathering.”

Joining Together: Registration Details for the Gathering:

The gathering is open to all Sixties Scoop Survivors at no cost, although pre-registration is required due to limited space. Prospective attendees are encouraged to register promptly, with a deadline set for April 1, 2024. Limited travel funding is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Continuing Support: The Pathways to Healing Program:

For those seeking further assistance, SCO offers the Pathways to Healing Program. This initiative provides Sixties Scoop Survivors with information, advocacy, and support in navigating various systems, ensuring continued support on their journey toward healing.

For more details on the gathering and the Pathways to Healing Program, please visit SCO’s website.

Representing 34 First Nations and over 87,000 citizens, the Southern Chiefs’ Organization is a pivotal political entity in southern Manitoba, dedicated to upholding First Nations peoples’ inherent rights, languages, and traditions through treaty advocacy and implementation.

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