National Indigenous Survivors of Child Welfare
About Us | Frequently Asked Questions
The National Indigenous Survivors of Child Welfare Network otherwise known as the The Network is a coalition of Indigenous people (Métis, First Nation and Inuit) and organizations which provide leadership, support and advocacy for Indigenous people affected by Indigenous Child Removal Systems in Canada - regardless of where they reside. We are the only National organization representing Indigenous survivors of the Sixties Scoop.
The Board of Directors is composed entirely of Sixties Scoop Survivors from Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Quebec and Manitoba. We are currently building our Board of Directors compliment to 13 to represent all regions in Canada. Board members are to be of First Nation, Inuit and Metis decent.
We began as a grassroot group of Sixties Scoop Survivors in Ottawa who wanted to host gatherings for other local Sixties Scoop Survivors. Our first Gathering was in 2014, that quickly evolved into the national Bi-Giwen Indigenous Survivors of Child Welfare gathering and has since become an annual event. We hope that eventually other provinces will host gatherings in their territories and encourage this Survivor-created –and led - healing activity.
The Network is connected to thousands of survivors across Canada, the U.S.A and overseas who look to us for support, leadership and direction. We share a wealth of collective skills, knowledge, lived experience, research and popular education with Sixties Scoop survivor communities.
Through our membership, social media, email, public education, and annual gatherings, we are connected to thousands of survivors and keep them updated on current events. We are a member-based organization and maintain a database of our membership.
What do we do?
Our current focus as an organization is on the Sixties Scoop and Canada's past and present colonial child welfare policies. We are involved in a research project, continue to engage Sixties Scoop Survivors and create programming. We also support Sixties Scoop organizations that have formed in Alberta and Saskatchewan and working to create one in Quebec.
We seek to advance the struggles for justice of Sixties Scoop Survivors and their families, many of whom are still reeling from the impacts from loss of culture, identity, physical, sexual, emotional and spiritual abuses suffered in their adoptive and foster households, with many coming from families of residential school survivors.
To date, the Network has hosted three National Survivors of Child Welfare Gatherings for Sixties Scoop Survivors in Ottawa. Survivors have come from all over Canada, and even as far as New Zealand. In total, the Network has provided services and support to over 300 survivors who have attended our gatherings. Our next gathering is being planned for Sept 19th – 23rd 2018.
The Network's National Coordinator and Board of Directors have given hundreds of presentations to universities and community organizations across Canada about the Sixties Scoop and how it has impacted our lives. These presentations highlight the work that the Network is doing to help survivors heal, build community and reclaim culture and language.
In 2017 the Network partnered with the Legacy of Hope to create the Bi-Giwen: Coming Home- Truth telling from the 60s Scoop, which features the first-person testimonies of twelve Indigenous Survivors of the Scoop and reflects upon their enduring strength and resilience. This exhibition will travel across Canada to raise awareness about the 60s scoop and how it continues to impact survivors lives.
The Network has held two press conferences on Parliament Hill in response to the current Sixties Scoop Agreement-in-Principle. The position of the Network is that this settlement cannot go forward in its present form. Canada has not fulfilled its duty to consult and accommodate Sixties Scoop survivors and survivor organizations, and has systematically excluded Métis survivors and non-status Indian survivors from accessing settlement funds. Canada has also offered no provisions to survivors living out-of-country and those currently incarcerated or institutionalized for accessing settlement funds. The Network has also hosted a Solidarity Rally in 2016 on Parliament Hill.
The Network are collaborators in Dr. Raven Sinclair's Pekīwēwin Project, which examines how exactly Canadian policy and practice have resulted in the large-scale removal of Indigenous children from Indigenous families and communities. In so doing, the project aims to provide a way forward for survivors and our communities - as our name suggests, Pe-kīwēwin; a way home. We plan to provide a series of recommendations to overhaul the Indigenous child welfare system and end policies that do not support Indigenous children and families.
The Network and Pe-kiwewin Project are coordinating a GIS Mapping project to map to help visualize the movements of Sixties Scoop survivors, visualizing how colonial child welfare policies displaced Indigenous children all over Canada, the US and overseas. A lot of survivors are still looking for family members. This map will give survivors a way to share their stories, find family members as well as providing valuable and currently unavailable data of how many of us were taken and where we were taken to. To participate in the GIS Mapping Project, click here.
The Network is collaborating on a short-term research project with Columbia University doctoral student Margaux Kristjansson. This project investigates the connections between Canada's resource economy and Indigenous child removal systems and will provide data to the Network regarding Sixties Scoop survivors access to land, programs, and resources.
Peer Support Line.
On November 28, 2017 in response to overwhelming demand from 60s Scoop Survivors, The Network launched the first Sixties Scoop Peer Support Line in Canada. Through the Peer Support Line, the Network provides listening and support services to Indigenous sixties scoop survivors who experienced displacement, loss of culture, due to being adopted or fostered in non-Indigenous households across Canada, the U.S. and internationally.
The Toll-Free Support Line provides safe, respectful and non-judgemental confidential listening. It links Sixties Scoop survivors to approved services across Canada to support their emotional, cultural, spiritual and mental needs. Services include:
- Provide direction on how to access government information related to their adoption and other government documentation.
- Provide direction to support their repartition efforts that include finding families and communities.
- Provide information and direction on how to attain Indigenous programs and services, Treaty Indian Cards, Metis memberships and Nunavut Land Claims Agreement services for Inuit.
- Provide one-on-one talks with Survivors to listen to stories, connect them with other Survivors, or Sixties Scoop organizations across Canada.
The Network is connected to the Sixties Scoop community and provides a number of services to Sixties Scoop Survivors. The onset and creation of a Foundation associated with the Agreement-in-Principle appears to be a duplication of services that the Network is currently offering Sixties Scoop Survivors. The Network wants to ramp up its operations to continue this work to ensure it is able to service the entire Sixties Scoop community.
Although the government has reached out to the Network to meet with the Foundation's Working Group, it is our position that our January meeting request to Minister Bennett to voice our concerns about the agreement has to come first and that a process to seek Sixties Scoop Survivors in the development of any agreement be part of any settlement.
Next Steps...become a member.
Becoming a member of NISCW Network means connecting to others that have similar stories.
You are not alone.
The NISCW Network is a non-profit organization that runs on volunteers. Funds are needed and are appreciated.
Next Steps...contact us.
Would you like to share your story? Volunteer? Do you have questions? Please contact us.