Sixties Scoop exhibit heading to Peace River
Indigenous Relations Minister Richard Feehan and SSISA President Adam North Peigan look at one of the stories included in Bi-Giwen: Coming Home- Truth Telling From the Sixties Scoop, submitted photo
People will soon get to learn a bit more about a part of Indigenous history known as the Sixties Scoop. The Sixties Scoop Indigenous Society of Alberta is bringing its travelling exhibit Bi-Giwen: Coming Home, to the Town of Peace River. President Adam North Peigan hopes the exhibit will bring awareness to a traumatic part of his and others’ pasts.
“Our hope is that it’s going to raise awareness with mainstream Albertans that you know what, this is a part of our story, this is a part of our history as Indigenous people; and that mainstream Albertans can be a little bit more understanding to the trauma and the atrocities that we have had to endure in our Indigenous communities.”
The Sixties Scoop was a government practice in Canada from the 1950s to the 1980s. During those years, an unknown number of First Nations, Métis and Inuit children were taken from their parents, families and communities and placed with non-Indigenous families.
The exhibit brings together the stories of 12 survivors including Peigan’s. He was taken from his community two hours south of Calgary as an infant. He grew up in non-Indigenous foster homes and children’s shelters until he aged out. He says this exhibit means a lot to him and other survivors.
“Any opportunity that we have to be able to share our experiences, our strength and our culture, it’s an opportunity that we really need to take advantage of… We all have to live in this world together so it’s important that we live in harmony. Part of that is being able to understand different cultures; so this is an opportunity for us to share a little bit of what has happened and our culture as Indigenous people.”
The exhibit will be in Peace River on May 2nd and 3rd before heading to Edmonton. A location for the exhibit has not been locked in yet.
Other stops on the tour include Calgary, Lethbridge, High Level, St. Paul, Fort McMurray, Gift Lake Metis Settlement and Fishing Lake Metis Settlement.