- Philip Cox
Author, community organizer and social justice advocate Colleen Hele-Cardinal, a Nehiyaw Iskwew from Onihcikiskowapowin Saddle Lake Cree First Nation Alberta, reflected upon her experiences growing up in a non-Indigenous household as a ‘60s scoop adoptee on Feb. 11 with Humanities Dean Annalee Lepp on a virtual stage for Humanities Reads: Colleen Hele-Cardinal, the keynote event of UVic’s fourth annual Humanities Week.
Hele-Cardinal is a co-founder of the National Indigenous Survivors of Child Welfare Network and a public figure who speaks candidly about the connections between murdered and missing Indigenous women, colonial violence, racism and the Indigenous child welfare system.
Her latest project, In Our Own Words: Mapping the ‘60s Scoop Diaspora, provides a mapping tool for visualizing the displacement of ‘60s scoop survivors across the globe, a platform to share personal stories and experiences and a database for survivors and their families looking to reconnect with one another.
Coleen read from her book, Ohpikiihaakan-ohpihmeh (Raised somewhere else): A ‘60s Scoop Adoptee’s Story of Coming Home and discussed the themes raised within it with Lepp before engaging in a live Q&A with the audience.
“Ohpikiihaakan-ohpihmeh powerfully confronts the legacy of colonialism in Canada by telling hard truths about the ‘60s scoop based on the author’s personal experiences,” says Lepp. “We are honoured to welcome Colleen Hele-Cardinal to UVic and to have this opportunity to listen and have a conversation with her about her work.”