The Sixties Scoop Indigenous Society of Alberta is partnering with libraries across B.C. to tour its national exhibit, including a stop at the Prince George Public Library on June 1.
The Sixties Scoop Indigenous Society of Alberta (SSISA), in partnership with the Prince George Public Library (PGPL), are bringing the Bi-Giwen: Coming Home – Truth Telling from the Sixties Scoop travelling exhibit to various B.C. locations, including the traditional territory of the Lheidli T’enneh. The first of its kind exhibit shares the experiences of survivors, including twelve personal testimonials of strength and resilience. The powerful display (developed for ages 13+) will be accessible to the public free of charge at the Prince George Public Library’s Bob Harkins Branch, downtown, on Wednesday, June 1 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“The Sixties Scoop Indigenous Society of Alberta (SSISA) is proud to bring this exhibit to Prince George,” said the Society’s president, Sandra Relling. “It describes the powerful and emotional stories and devastating impacts of Sixties Scoop in Canada. We are grateful for the ongoing support of the Prince George Public Library as we showcase this exhibit throughout BC. The exhibit is an opportunity to share and educate Canadians about the history of Indigenous people in relation to the Sixties Scoop.”
PGPL is especially honoured to host the exhibit on June 1, the commencement of National Indigenous History Month.
“We believe hosting exhibits and conversations like this is extremely important to our community,” library board chair Mike Gagel said. “At the Prince George Public Library, our mission is to build a resilient community by creating welcoming and inclusive spaces for every person to read, connect, and share. Bringing our community together to learn about this tragic and significant part of our history in a safe and supportive space is a vital part of this mission. We are fortunate to be able to work with great community partner organizations like the Sixties Scoop Indigenous Society of Alberta to learn about and acknowledge the history of our region and people.”
“The Sixties Scoop” refers to government practices across Canada from the 1950s to the 1980s that led to an unknown number of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit children being taken from their parents, families, and communities by child intervention services and placed in non-Indigenous families. Many of these children experienced abuse, mistreatment, and neglect and lost touch with their families, communities, culture, and traditional language.
The governments of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta have delivered formal apologies for past practices that led to the removal of Indigenous children from their families, resulting in a loss of culture, identity and connection to their communities. The effects of the Sixties Scoop are still felt by survivors and their families today.