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Exhibit about Canada’s residential schools comes to Calgary
Published Wednesday, March 6, 2019 11:37AM MST
Last Updated Wednesday, March 6, 2019 12:57PM MST
A special gallery that details the Sixties Scoop and the stories of the survivors of one of the darkest parts of Canadian history is open at Calgary’s New Central Library.
The exhibit, called Bi-Giwen: Coming Home – Truth Telling from the Sixties Scoop, has the accounts of 12 survivors of the Sixties Scoop, where government practices between the 1950s and 1980s led to a number of First Nations, Metis and Inuit children being forcibly taken from their families and placed in non-Indigenous families.
As a result, the children were abused, mistreated, neglected and lost touch with their families, community, language and culture.
Bi-Giwen is produced by the Sixties Scoop Indigenous Society of Alberta in partnership with the Government of Alberta and the Legacy of Hope Foundation.
Organizers say the exhibit is a way for Albertans to learn about the Sixties Scoop and the history of Canada’s Indigenous people.
“We wanted to create public awareness across the province of Alberta on the atrocities and the legacy of the Sixties Scoop because it is part of our history as Indigenous people,” said Adam North Peigan, president of the Sixties Scoop Indigenous Society of Alberta.
“We wanted the opportunity to share that with mainstream Albertans so that they have a better understanding of what we had to endure.”
Premier Rachel Notley offered a formal apology to the survivors of the policy in May 2018, saying that we all must “acknowledge these wrongs.”
North Peigan says her actions marked a “historic day” in Alberta and for Canada’s Indigenous people.
“We needed to be acknowledged. We needed to be able to correct a wrong. When the premier stood up on that day, it was a very emotional day for myself and all of the Sixties Scoop survivors all over Alberta.”
He says the society is also working on some anti-racism initiatives in smaller communities and plans are in the works to host a Western Canada gathering of Scoop Survivors in May.
The show is on until 4:30 p.m. at the New Central Library on Wednesday.
It will then move on to Lethbridge, Edmonton, Fort McMurray and a number of other small communities in the province.