Media Advisory | September 21, 2017

Media Advisory | September 21, 2017

ational Indigenous Survivors of Child Welfare Network, press release

www.niscw.org // info@niscw.org

MEDIA ADVISORY

Indigenous Survivors to Canada: End Colonial Child Welfare Policies, Provide Reparations
for the Sixties Scoop

Press Conference: September 26, 2017 – 10am- Charles Lynch Room, Centre Block, Parliament Hill
(Ottawa, Algonquin Territory/September 20, 2017) As Canada continues to celebrate its 150th
birthday, Indigenous people who have survived its child welfare systems are gathering in Canada’s
capital to find strategies for healing together from the ongoing traumas and cultural losses created by
colonial child welfare policies.

Beginning on September 27, 2017, the 3rd National Bi-Giwen Indigenous Survivors of Child Welfare
gathering will bring over 75 Indigenous people from all over Canada, the US and New Zealand to
Waupoos Farm, just outside Ottawa for a weekend of workshops, healing and ceremonies in a landbased
setting.

At present, more Indigenous children remain in child welfare custody than at the height of
residential school enrollment in 1956.

Gathering organizer and National Indigenous Survivors of Child Welfare Network co-founder
Colleen Hele-Cardinal states that the Sixties Scoop and present child welfare policy constitute
“crimes committed by the State against Indigenous people – the stealing of Indigenous children,
erasure of culture and identity – for access to the lands and resources which Canada is built on.”
In 2016, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruled that Canada’s Indigenous child welfare funding
formulas were systematically racist for providing incentives to remove Indigenous children from
their families rather than adequately funding preventative services. In February 2017, Ontario Sixties
Scoop survivors won a class action lawsuit. The presiding judge found that Canada had forcibly
severed Sixties Scoop survivors from their aboriginal rights, communities and nations.
The Trudeau government has yet to introduce policy to reform First Nations Family and Child
Services or address the ongoing traumas created by the Sixties Scoop.
The National Indigenous Survivors of Child Welfare Network is a newly incorporated 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. In July 2017, NISCW co-founder Duane Morrisseau-Beck traveled to the United Nations in
Geneva to ask the UN Expert Mechanism to take action in support of Indigenous children and
survivors.

As the National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls continues to be
criticized for failing affected families and communities, the Bi-Giwen gathering offers an alternate
model of healing and reconciliation by and for survivors. Attendees include family members of
MMIWGTS who have experienced firsthand the failures of the National Inquiry.
The Directors of the National Indigenous Survivors of Child Welfare have a clear message to
Canada: “We call upon Canada to stop the practice of apprehending Indigenous children at
alarmingly high rates. Sixties Scoop survivors are looking for reparations and acknowledgement of
Canada’s role in our displacement, loss of culture and identity, and trauma. We call the government
to action so that all Indigenous survivors of child welfare can begin to heal and work towards
reconciling these injustices.”

For More Information Contact:
Colleen Hele-Cardinal (819) 215- 3497

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