Get new posts by email:

How to Use this Blog

BOOZHOO! We've amassed tons of information and important history on this blog since 2010. If you have a keyword, use the search box below. Also check out the reference section above. If you have a question or need help searching, use the contact form at the bottom of the blog.

We want you to use BOOKSHOP! (the editor will earn a small amount of money or commission. (we thank you) (that is our disclaimer statement)

This is a blog. It is not a peer-reviewed journal, not a sponsored publication... WE DO NOT HAVE ADS or earn MONEY from this website. The ideas, news and thoughts posted are sourced… or written by the editor or contributors.

EMAIL ME: (outlook email is gone)


Friday, September 15, 2023

Sixties Scoop survivor creates an interactive map for fellow Indigenous adoptees

Colleen Hele-Cardinal co-founded the Sixties Scoop Network, which launched an online map in 2019 to let survivors plot their own stories. (Photo: Ashley Fraser/Ottawa Citizen)


Topics: Justice | Interview

Colleen Hele-Cardinal, herself a survivor, hopes the project will bring more awareness to the controversial policy

Colleen Hele-Cardinal wants to set the record straight on one of Canada’s most destructive chapters. In 1972, she and her two sisters were put into foster care and later adopted by a white family. While in post-secondary school, she realized she was part of the Sixties Scoop, in which Indigenous children were removed from their families and placed into the child welfare system. Now, Hele-Cardinal, who is Plains Cree and lives in Ottawa, is raising awareness. The Sixties Scoop Network, which she co-founded, launched an online map in 2019 that allows survivors to plot their own stories.


When I moved to Ottawa, I was volunteering with a group of folks called No One Is Illegal. I went to one of their conferences and they had a big white sheet up on the wall and people were documenting their stories with brightly coloured yarn, as if to say, “This is where I came from, this is where I’ve been and this is where I am now.” I was like, “We need that.” Survivors need to show what that displacement looks like too. We were literally trafficked through child welfare policies across borders, overseas and inter-provincially. People needed to see that displacement.


I wanted the map to be sophisticated enough to show where a survivor says they came from — for instance, I was from Edmonton and was taken to Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. I wanted our map to show that distance. Each province represents a different colour, and it shows the displacement across the world. It’s pretty striking to see. At the last update, we had about 112 interactions with the map.


 People were just blown away that this was allowed to happen. We’ve had folks who have been taken to New Zealand and Australia, or overseas to England. They didn’t know anything about being Indigenous. I’m still struggling with my identity. I don’t know where I fit in. I don’t feel like I fit in. That’s one of the reasons why we created the Sixties Scoop Network. Sometimes we hear from survivors who didn’t even know there was a Sixties Scoop; they just know they were adopted. They don’t know that it was part of a larger systemic initiative to assimilate us. It can be difficult to realize that you are part of something that was meant to erase you.


The biggest problem is not enough exposure, or maybe a lack of interest. Even with this mapping project, it doesn’t get enough attention, it doesn’t get enough conversation. We’re not part of the national conversation. The challenge is staying on the radar and in the hearts and minds of Canadians.

More on Broadview:


We want to find all the survivors. That’s always why I wanted to do this work because when I found out that my sisters and I were Sixties Scoop survivors, adoptees, honestly, my sisters and I, we thought we were pretty unique. And when I found out there was 30,000 of us out there … Where are they all? You know, I want to know where they all are. And I want to hear their stories. And I want to know if they’re okay, and if they’re not okay, can we provide support?


Charlotte Alden is a journalist working in Bellingham, Wash. and was a 2023 summer intern at Broadview.

This interview first appeared in Broadview’s October/November 2023 issue with the title “Colleen Hele-Cardinal.”

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please: Share your reaction, your thoughts, and your opinions. Be passionate, be unapologetic. Offensive remarks will not be published. We are getting more and more spam. Comments will be monitored.
Use the comment form at the bottom of this website which is private and sent direct to Trace.

Happy Visitors!

They Took Us Away

They Took Us Away
click image to see more and read more

Blog Archive

Most READ Posts


You are not alone

You are not alone

To Veronica Brown

Veronica, we adult adoptees are thinking of you today and every day. We will be here when you need us. Your journey in the adopted life has begun, nothing can revoke that now, the damage cannot be undone. Be courageous, you have what no adoptee before you has had; a strong group of adult adoptees who know your story, who are behind you and will always be so.

Diane Tells His Name

click photo

60s Scoop Survivors Legal Support


Lost Birds on Al Jazeera Fault Lines

Lost Birds on Al Jazeera Fault Lines
click to read and listen about Trace, Diane, Julie and Suzie


As the single largest unregulated industry in the United States, adoption is viewed as a benevolent action that results in the formation of “forever families.”
The truth is that it is a very lucrative business with a known sales pitch. With profits last estimated at over $1.44 billion dollars a year, mothers who consider adoption for their babies need to be very aware that all of this promotion clouds the facts and only though independent research can they get an accurate account of what life might be like for both them and their child after signing the adoption paperwork.


Original Birth Certificate Map in the USA

Why tribes do not recommend the DNA swab

Rebecca Tallbear entitled: “DNA, Blood, and Racializing the Tribe”, bearing out what I only inferred:

Detailed discussion of the Bering Strait theory and other scientific theories about the population of the modern-day Americas is beyond the scope of this essay. However, it should be noted that Indian people have expressed suspicion that DNA analysis is a tool that scientists will use to support theories about the origins of tribal people that contradict tribal oral histories and origin stories. Perhaps more important,the alternative origin stories of scientists are seen as intending to weaken tribal land and other legal claims (and even diminish a history of colonialism?) that are supported in U.S. federal and tribal law. As genetic evidence has already been used to resolve land conflicts in Asian and Eastern European countries, this is not an unfounded fear.

Google Followers