A recent post by the New York Times revealed that the Canadian government is attempting to restore proper relationships with the country’s native populations. The country has a history of injustice toward its native people, and are seeking to restore relationships following the government’s 1960s decision to remove indigenous children from their reservations and put them up for adoption by non-native families. The decision came as a result of Westward expansion and, according to the New York Times, has impacted thousands of families that are native to the Americas. The decision to resettle native children, colloquially known as the the Sixties Swoop, is now being recognized across Canada as a catastrophe that should be accounted for.
The efforts to eradicate the result of the adoptions that took place during the sixties began about a decade ago when the Canadian government made official apologetic statements regarding the Sixties Swoop. In 2008, the Canadian government implemented a class action settlement that would pay out at least 750 million dollars to families that were negatively affected by the widespread adoption process. According to the New York Times, many individuals who were adopted during this time or who had their children forcibly removed from their households have come forth to discuss the implications the adoption process had on their livelihoods.
Several adults who were removed from their homes during the Canadian Sixties Swoop discussed their upbringing and the cultural effect of the removal. Nancy Hodges, a woman who was 6 years old when she was removed from her family in 1962 and placed in the adoptive care of a white family, stated that the effects of her removal were catastrophic and lasting. She stated that although her adoptive parents were kind and caring, she loved and dearly missed her biological parents and reconnected with them during her late teen-aged years. Nancy recounted several stories of family events that she missed during her time living with her adoptive parents and has always been disheartened at the fact that she missed time with her father before his death when she was 19.