n. — Aboriginal, especially First Nations
the practice of removing Aboriginal children from their parents and communities and putting them up for adoption or into foster care.
Type: 6. Memorial — The term Sixties Scoop was popularized by Patrick Johnston in his 1983 book (see the third 1983 quotation). Starting in the 1960s, the proportion of Aboriginal children under the care of social services grew from less than one percent in 1955 to at least 35 percent in the mid 1960s (see the first 1983 quotation and the 1989 quotation). Many of the 20,000 children (see the 2002 quotation) who were directly affected by the Sixties Scoop developed severe cultural identity, social, and personal problems. As Chart 1 shows, the term is most frequent in Canada.
Two lawsuits were filed against the Canadian government for this practice, in 2010 in Ontario and in 2011 in BC (see the 2011 quotation). This forced removal of children from their communities continued the segregation and abuse in residential schools. Aboriginal children are still over-represented in care, because it is easier to take a child into care than to solve the larger problems of Aboriginal communities and families caused by racism and colonialism. Some have called the continuing practice of child removal the Millenium Scoop (see, e.g., the first 2011 quotation).
See also: residential school residential school survivor
- 1983  Because the removal of Indian children from reserves was so common in the 1960s, the term "Sixties Scoop" developed as a description, the study says. It meant that some Indian communities lost almost an entire generation of their children to a child-welfare system.
- 1983  The child welfare system may be doing more harm than good to native children the Canadian Council on Social Development charges in a report published today.
The council says that in 1980-81, 37 to 64 per cent of Indian, Metis and Inuit children were in the care of child welfare agencies.
The problem is especially acute in Canada's four western provinces, it said.
The report referred to what has been called the "Sixties Scoop" when it was commonplace for agencies to take children from Indian reserves.
- 1983  One longtime employee of the Ministry of Human Resources in B.C. referred to this process as the "Sixties Scoop." She admitted that provincial social workers would, quite literally, scoop children from reserves on the slightest pretext. She also made it clear, however, that she and her colleagues sincerely believed that what they were doing was in the best interests of the children.
- 1989  Crey said 1963 marked the next phase of the "condemnation of Indian people as parents." That's when the federal Indian Affairs gave responsibility for native children to the provinces.
Author Patrick Johnston said the move resulted in the "Sixties' Scoop" when thousands of native children were pulled from reserves and placed in non-native foster and adoptive homes.
Johnston, author of the 1983 book, Native Children and the Child Welfare System, said there were 3,433 kids in care of the B.C. Social Services Ministry in 1955. Twenty-nine, or less than one per cent, were Indian. By 1964 the number had soared to 1,446 native children, or 34.2 per cent.
- 1998  By 1959, social-service workers across Canada were venturing on to Indian reserves to look into children's living conditions. They found alcoholism, drug abuse, rape, incest and suicide. This led to what researchers call the "60s scoop," as thousands of Indian children were removed from their parents by welfare authorities.
- 2002  It has been nearly two decades since the end of the infamous "Sixties Scoop," the era in which roughly 20,000 aboriginal children were plucked from their reserves and adopted by middle-class families across North America with little thought to the culture and sense of identity they would lose.
Right now, about 22,500 aboriginal children are in foster care across the country -- far more than at any one point during the scoop. Natives make up only five per cent of all Canadians under the age of 14 but a hefty 40 per cent of those being raised by foster parents, the vast majority of whom are non-native. And with an aboriginal baby boom in full swing, that figure seems destined to swell. The latest figure is due next month, but even in 1996 fully 35 per cent of the native population was 14 and under.
- 2004  The egregious "Sixties Scoop" -- a practice in place from the 1960s to the 1980s -- saw thousands of native kids taken from their parents and handed over to caucasian families, ostensibly for their own good.
And we're still dealing with the legacy of the Sixties Scoop. Many of the problems some aboriginal people experience can be traced back to their being removed from their parents, to being sent to residential schools, and to not knowing who they are.
- 2008  My mom and her siblings were part of what's been called "the '60s scoop" -- a stretch of time where aboriginal children were "scooped" from their homes by the Children's Aid Society, put in foster care or adopted by white families, many in faraway places.
- 2011  Still, the Millennium Scoop is not the Sixties Scoop, when children were removed from their homes and adopted by families far from the reserve. There was little discussion then about what would happen to a child once he or she was taken into care.
There is now a recognition that assimilation is not an option, says Beaucage, and there is some attempt to plan for family reunification.
Troubled children are increasingly being removed from their homes, but about half the time, they are placed in other First Nations homes, says Trocme. About 90 per cent of them eventually wind up back home at some point, perhaps as an adult, he says. So the family ties are not being broken as in the past.
- 2011  A class-action lawsuit that could cost Ottawa millions of dollars has been filed in the Supreme Court of British Columbia on behalf of aboriginal children affected by the "Sixties' Scoop."
The "Scoop" refers to the thousands of native children who were allegedly taken between 1962 and 1996 after the federal government signed over its responsibility for Indian child welfare to the provincial government.
The B.C. government received money for each status Indian child taken into care.
This is the first Sixties' Scoop class-action suit filed in B.C. and only the second in Canada.
An Ontario case was given court approval in 2010.
- 2012  Although the removal of children was called the Sixties Scoop, in Ontario, it actually occurred between 1965 and 1985. The displacement led to adults who say they have lost their own culture.
- 2016  We have a history that spans thousands of years, we have a culture and traditions that have survived the loss of our main food supply the buffalo, residential school, the Sixties Scoop. We survived the continued efforts to assimilate us by banning our ceremonies, by prohibiting our children to speak their language in residential schools, by imposing a pass system whereby our people had to obtain a pass to leave the boundaries of the reserve, surviving the diseases brought on with infected blankets, by disenfranchising our women if they married a non-status person, by disenfranchising anyone who joined a religious order or who made efforts to gain a higher education. We still speak our language, we still practise our ceremonies and our culture is still very much alive.
Chart 1: Internet Domain Search, 22 Jul. 2013