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Indigenous Studies & Resources

60's Scoop

Compiled by Molly Burke

The 60’s Scoop refers to the apprehension of young Indigenous children from their families and communities and their adoption into non-Indigenous families. Beginning in the 50s and hitting its peak in the 60s, the Canadian government saw the removal of Indigenous children as the best way to deal with Indigenous child welfare issues.  Social workers were empowered to take Indigenous babies and children from their communities and families without the knowledge of the community. Thus, creating the term of ‘scooping’ Indigenous children. The 60’s scoop created a loss of identity and culture for many Indigenous children and left a generation of Indigenous people without the support of their community and families. Between 1971 and 1981 there were approximately 3400 children taken from their homes in Manitoba alone, and 80 percent of these were adopted into non-Indigenous homes. This created a sense of loneliness, confusion, and disenfranchisement for many of these children.


Separating children from parents: The Sixties Scoop in Canada


Sinclair, N. J., & Dainard, S. (Eds.). (2016) Sixties Scoop. The Canadian Encyclopedia.