Sixties Scoop survivors receive COVID ‘care packages’

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

It was not only a chance to re-connect and meet with Sixties Scoop survivors, but a chance to help during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Sixties Scoop Indigenous Society of Alberta was at the Peavine Inn and Suites in High Prairie Sept. 23 to hand out COVID packages. A steady stream of visitors attended to pick up their package and chat with the four SSISA members attending. The same group was at the Slave Lake Friendship Centre Sept. 25.

Handing out the packages were SSISA president Adam North Peigan, SSISA vice-president and co-founder Sharon Gladue-Paskimin, Crystal Bourque, Treaty 6 representative on the SSISA board, and SSISA secretary Lorraine Champagne.

SSISA represents lands included in Treaty 6, Treaty 7 and Treaty 8, and includes Metis and Inuit peoples. It is a non-profit society whose purpose is to promote reconciliation, healing, education and advocacy of survivors and their families through the inclusion of all Indigenous people by lobbying so the actions of the ‘60s Scoop never happens again.
SSISA also supports those disconnected through the ‘60s Scoop by empowering them to achieve a sense of identity as Indigenous people.

The Alberta government apologized for the actions from 1951 to 1991 but education and awareness continues. Exhibits in the Treaty regions occur to realize SSISA’s goals, especially awareness.

Survivor engagements have been held, and there was a Western Canadian National Gathering in Manitou Springs, SK in May 2019. TV documentaries, and anti-racism events also allow survivors to share their stories and heal.

Items in the COVID package included comfort blankets, information on COVID-19, the phone number for the Hope For Wellness Hotline, masks, gloves, sanitizer, a case or bottled water, a Walmart gift card, and recipe for bleach and water to make sanitizer.

The tour for SSISA was the second phase of a 16-community stop that started in July and continues until November.

Sixties Scoop survivor Alvin Laboucan of Atikameg receives his COVID package from SSISA secretary Lorraine Champagne in High Prairie Sept. 23.

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