Hard truths about the ’60s scoop


- Philip Cox


Author, community organizer and social justice advocate Colleen Hele-Cardinal, a Nehiyaw Iskwew from Onihcikiskowapowin Saddle Lake Cree First Nation Alberta, will share and reflect upon her experiences growing up in a non-Indigenous household as a ‘60s scoop adoptee on Feb. 11 at 6:30 p.m., when she joins Humanities Dean Annalee Lepp on a virtual stage for Humanities Reads: Colleen Hele-Cardinal, the keynote event of UVic’s fourth annual Humanities Week.

Hele-Cardinal is a co-founder of the National Indigenous Survivors of Child Welfare Network and a public figure who speaks candidly about the connections between murdered and missing Indigenous women, colonial violence, racism and the Indigenous child welfare system.

Her latest project, In Our Own Words: Mapping the ‘60s Scoop Diaspora, provides a mapping tool for visualizing the displacement of ‘60s scoop survivors across the globe, a platform to share personal stories and experiences and a database for survivors and their families looking to reconnect with one another.

At this event, she will read from her book, Ohpikiihaakan-ohpihmeh (Raised somewhere else): A ‘60s Scoop Adoptee’s Story of Coming Home and discuss the themes raised within it with Lepp before engaging in a live Q&A with the audience.

Ohpikiihaakan-ohpihmeh powerfully confronts the legacy of colonialism in Canada by telling hard truths about the ‘60s scoop based on the author’s personal experiences,” says Lepp. “We are honoured to welcome Colleen Hele-Cardinal to UVic and to have this opportunity to listen and have a conversation with her about her work.”

Established in 2019, Humanities Week is an annual, weeklong series of events designed to showcase the critical and creative research of faculty and students in UVic’s Faculty of Humanities. This year’s other events include:

(Re)Claiming Voices: 6 Stories in 6 Objects  |  Feb 7 at 6:30 p.m. 

A panel of scholars to share an everyday object with its own story to tell about marginalized voices, concealed histories, or resistance and resurgence.

The “Un-Essay” Competition  |  Feb 9 at 6:30 p.m.

UVic Humanities students compete for top prizes by presenting their reearch through any creative form of expression that is not an essay.

All Humanities Week events are free, online and open to the public. ASL interpretation is also available upon request. 


In this story

Keywords: research, interdisciplinary, Indigenous, writing, administrative, student life, reconciliation

People: Colleen Hele-Cardinal

Publication: The Ring

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