On Friday, First Nations, Métis and Inuit ’60s Scoop Survivors will be hosting rallies in nine major cities across Canada – and in Whitehorse – as part of the National ‘60s Scoop National Day of Solidarity.
The local event will begin at noon at the totem pole at the corner of Main and Front streets.
“Responding to a call by the National Indigenous Survivors of Child Welfare Network, these rallies will hold space for ’60s Scoop survivors to speak out, and advocate for a fair and just settlement for Métis and non-Status ’60s Scoop survivors,” organizers said in a statement Wednesday.
“The rallies will host a diversity of ’60s Scoop survivor voices about the crimes committed against them by Canada.”
“Survivors’ voices need to be heard and validated; we hope to create space for survivors to come out and voice their concerns in a public forum and in solidarity with other survivors across Canada,” said network co-ordinator Colleen Cardinal.
“These rallies will be yet another way for the network to stand in supportive solidarity with survivors in these times that can be so very confusing,” added network director Vicky Boldo.
“My heart goes out to everyone for the rollercoaster that has been going on for far too long. I wish peace and healing to all affected, as no amount of money can truly provide this.”
To date, Canada has not announced a settlement process that includes Métis and non-status survivors, although the federal government has recently come to the table with the Métis National Council.
“On March 16th,’60s Scoop survivor communities will stand in solidarity to ensure all survivor voices are heard, to share information, and to support Métis and nonstatus survivors in their struggle for equitable justice,” organizers said.
Brent Mitchell, a Métis survivor, said: “I was taken from Pine Falls to New Zealand, where I had 14 nightmare years of abuse with foster parents.
“I want a face-to-face apology from Canada and proper compensation for my suffering and loss of my human rights.”
Network director Nadine Ts’iiwo Helen Wasakahaw Delorme said: “Through the ’60s Scoop, my sense of self: identity, bonds, languages, culture and landscapes were eradicated intentionally through policy. Bill C-31 promised ‘no more enfranchisement of Indians, especially women and children,” Delorme added.
“Where are my inherent rights? I am a Denedeh Sovereign.
“They tried to erase me, my legacy and my history. They will not succeed this time! Hiy hiy!”
The network is demanding that Canada reform the colonial child welfare system and fund repatriation of ’60s Scoop Survivors taken out of country.
“A lot of our people are still not home,” said network director Duane Morrisseau-Beck.
“The Healing Foundation is an important start, but we will continue to advocate for Canada to fund repatriation of overseas survivors and support Indigenous children in the system now.”