The Sixties Scoop National Exhibit comes to Peace River on May 2. The Sixties Scoop Society of Alberta is leading the tour. Left-right, are vice-president Sharon Gladue, president Adam North Peigan and director Herb Lehr.

Richard Froese
For The Express

A dark period in Indigenous history will be on display in Peace River in early May.

Everyone is invited to the Sixties Scoop exhibit at the Peace River Museum and Archives Centre on May 2.

Bi-Gewin; Truth Telling from the Sixties Scoop National Exhibit will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Sixties Scoop Society of Alberta is leading the tour.

“We want to create public awareness and promote th exhibit as an educational tool,” president Adam North Peigan says.

“We are honoured to come to northern Alberta.”

Society leaders value the opportunity.

“The exhibit showcases 12 Sixties Scoop survivors, who share their stories and their atrocities of how they grew up while being a permanent ward of the government adopted away,” says vice-president Sharon Gladue, a survivor.

“The exhibit will not only educate mainstream Albertans, but those who have never experienced the atrocities of the child welfare system.”

People are also invited to a survivor engagement session May 1 at Sagitawa Friendship Centre.

The Sixties Scoop refers to a time when an unknown number of Indigenous children were taken from their parents and communities by child intervention services and placed with mostly non-Indigenous families.

“The Sixties Scoop affected all Indigenous communities and the Peace River area is no different,” Gladue says.

“Lawyers inform us that there were more than 125,000 Sixties Scoop survivors and only 25,000 of us left.”

She invites people to see the exhibit with a wide perspective.

“View it with an open mind and an open heart,” Gladue says.

“Children are our future and view it as if it happened to them.”

After the event, the society will host a survivor engagement session for survivors and others affected.

“We want to hear them suggest what types of services would best suit their needs on their healing journey,” Gladue says.

The Sixties Scoop impacted the survivors is several ways.

It brought shame to their identity and to their colour of skin, heritage and ceremony; loss of language, culture family and their inherent rights such as Treaty entitlement; sense of loss; lack of trust; feeling abandoned; addictions and homelessness; suicidal thoughts and attempts.

Some also now walk in the spirit world and others face addictions and homelessness.

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