Righting Canada’s Wrongs: The Sixties Scoop and the Stolen Lives of Indigenous Children

by Andrew Bomberry and Teresa Edwards

 An examination of the Sixties Scoop—a child welfare policy in Canada that saw the removal of Indigenous children from their families, often by force.

Starting in 1951, Indigenous children in Canada were taken by social welfare agencies from their families and placed in the care of non-Indigenous families. These children grew up without their birth families, cultural roots, and language. Many tried to run away and some died in the attempt. The taking of the children is known as the Sixties Scoop, though the policies and practices started before the 1960s and lasted long after. Today, Indigenous children are shockingly over-represented in the child welfare system across Canada.

Indigenous communities organized and fought back for their children. In 1985, an official government report condemned the practice.

In the 1990s, lawsuits were filed against the governments who had supported taking the children. In 2018 and 2019, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba apologized for their roles. In 2020, the Canadian government agreed to a settlement for survivors of the Scoop.

Through hundreds of photos and primary documents, readers meet many survivors of the Scoop. They learn how Indigenous communities fought back to save their children and won, and how Indigenous communities across Canada are working towards healing today.

About the Authors

Andrew Bomberry
Andrew Bomberry

ANDREW BOMBERRY works with the Legacy of Hope Foundation to promote greater understanding and awareness of the Residential School system, the Sixties Scoop and their ongoing impacts. His work includes encouraging informed action and following up on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action. He has over ten years’ experience working in public policy and education covering Indigenous histories, cultures and identities. Andrew Bomberry is Haudenosaunee from the Six Nations of the Grand River territory. He lives in Toronto (the Dish with One Spoon territory), Ontario.

TERESA EDWARDS is a member of the Listuguj Mi’gmaq First Nation in Quebec. Her ceremonial name is Young Fire Woman, a name that she strives to fulfill through her work as an international human rights lawyer. Since 2017, Teresa has been the executive director and in-house legal counsel for the Legacy of Hope Foundation. The goal of her work is to address racism and injustice, as well as foster equity, education, and Reconciliation. She lives in Ottawa, Ontario.


The Sixties Scoop and the Stolen Lives of Indigenous Children embraces complexity in the history it tells, which is further enhanced by the inclusion of first-hand accounts from survivors of the Scoop. Their stories provide a plurality of experiences, adding additional nuance to the book… It is timely and well-researched, an excellent resource for teachers, librarians, and parents interested in educating young people about the harms these policies had – and continue to have – on Indigenous communities, as well as the continued overrepresentation of Indigenous children in care.”

Quill & Quire

Subjects (BISAC)


Resource Guide

Righting Canada's Wrongs Resource Guide

Righting Canada's Wrongs Resource Guide

A resource guide for the Righting Canada's Wrongs series that provides lessons in historical thinking.

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