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Support Info: If you are a Survivor and need emotional support, a national crisis line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week: Residential School Survivor Support Line: 1-866-925-4419. Additional Health Support Information: Emotional, cultural, and professional support services are also available to Survivors and their families through the Indian Residential Schools Resolution Health Support Program. Services can be accessed on an individual, family, or group basis.” These & regional support phone numbers are found at . THANK YOU MEGWETCH for reading

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Tuesday, April 11, 2023

#60sScoop Interactive project raises awareness, creates connections and reunites long-lost relatives

From Île-à-la-Crosse to Brighton, England: '60s Scoop survivors map journey of reconnection

Daniel Frost seated in a hotel boardroom.
Daniel Frost is Métis and Cree. Born in northern Saskatchewan, he was adopted by British parents in 1968 at just two years old. (Francis Ferland/CBC)

Thinking about meeting his sister Patsy for the first time seven years ago is still tough for Sixties Scoop survivor Daniel Frost.

"All I could do was look at her hands," he recalled, still overwhelmed with emotion as he remembered how much those hands looked like his.

"I couldn't look at her eyes."

Frost is Métis and Cree, one of about 22,000 Indigenous kids who were torn from their homes and placed in foster care or adopted into non-Indigenous families between 1951 and 1991, a system known today as the Sixties Scoop.

He came to Ottawa this week to share his story with the interactive mapping project, In Our Own Words.

Coloured arrows dart all over a map of Canada shown on a projector screen.
The In Our Own Words map tracks where Indigenous kids were taken after being torn from their families. (Francis Ferland/CBC)

Born in Île-à-la-Crosse in northern Saskatchewan, two-year-old Frost was adopted by British parents in 1968, taken to White Rock, B.C., and then finally to Brighton, England. He now lives in Spain.

He spoke with CBC News at downtown Ottawa's Novotel Hotel, where Sixties Scoop survivors gathered this week from far-flung places all over the world to share stories and connect.

Frost explained how a federally funded Saskatchewan-based organization, Adopt Indian Métis (AIM) scooped seven youngsters from his 13-sibling family. The organization is known for placing ads in newspapers and aggressive public relations campaigns.

Frost began learning his history by reading legal documents, including the court files that tell how his mother ran out of the courtroom when she learned her children were being taken.

"What they were saying in the 1960s and '70s was, 'We're not going to help you. We're just going to take your children,'" Frost said.

"I don't know if I'll heal from it, but I think being able to work my way through it is something which is necessary."

He visited Île-à-la-Crosse in 2016 and met his family, which he said changed him from a scared outsider to a man deeply proud of his Indigenous identity, and this trip to Ottawa includes a hop across the river to Gatineau, Que., to pick up a copy of his first Indian status card.


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Canada's Residential Schools

The religious organizations that operated the schools — the Anglican Church of Canada, Presbyterian Church in Canada, United Church of Canada, Jesuits of English Canada and some Catholic groups — in 2015 expressed regret for the “well-documented” abuses. The Catholic Church has never offered an official apology, something that Trudeau and others have repeatedly called for.

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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.

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