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Thursday, October 5, 2023

Residential school, Sixties Scoop survivors reflect on National #TRC DAY

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'A mixed-emotion day': Day of Reflection honours Sixties Scoop victims

The day included drumming, singing, round dancing, and smudging, among other Indigenous ceremonies. (Source: Zach Kitchen, CTV News) The day included drumming, singing, round dancing, and smudging, among other Indigenous ceremonies. (Source: Zach Kitchen, CTV News)
 
As Manitobans marked the third National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, an event in Winnipeg's North End remembered Residential School victims and those affected by the Sixties Scoop.

The Day of Reflection, Sacred Fire and Gathering took place at St. John's Park Saturday afternoon, jointly organized by the Anish Corporation, Manito Ahbee Festival, and 60s Scoop Legacy of Canada.

The day included drumming, singing, round dancing, and smudging, among other Indigenous ceremonies.

"We wanted to provide a space where people could come and learn a little bit about Indigenous culture, but also be mindful that today is kind of a mixed-emotion day for Indigenous people who have been affected by Residential Schools and the Sixties Scoop and day schools," said Katherine Strongwind director of the 60s Scoop Legacy of Canada.

Beginning in the late 1950s through the 1980s, the Canadian government enacted a series of policies allowing Indigenous children to be "scooped" from their families and then adopted into white homes.

Strongwind said Canada's Indigenous peoples have been through a lot of tragedy. "It's important to remember that we're still here, our culture is still alive," she said.

Orange-clad families gathered at the park to enjoy free entertainment and food, and to learn about Indigenous culture through tipi teachings.

Members of the White Horse Ranch in South Dakota brought "Sunka Wakan," or sacred horses to the event.

"They're often the lead for our walks and our events, and so it was really important to have them here so that we could honour the horses today," Strongwind said.

More information about the Sixties Scoop can be found online(opens in a new tab).

 

 

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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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