About Sixties Scoop Network

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Our Story

The NISCW Network is a not-for-profit organization comprised of an Indigenous board of directors. Each director has their own story of being apprehended by social services, being torn from their communities and families and placed in a non-Indigenous environment.

Your board of directors is here to assist survivors and their families.

| MISSION |

The National Indigenous Survivors of Child Welfare Network is a coalition of Indigenous people (Métis, First Nation and Inuit) and organizations which provide leadership, support and advocacy for Indigenous people affected by Indigenous Child Removal Systems in Canada – regardless of where they reside.

The NISCW Network is a not-for-profit organization comprised of an Indigenous board of directors. Each director has their own story of being apprehended by social services, being torn from their communities and families and placed in a non-Indigenous environment.

Your board of directors is here to assist survivors and their families.

| OBJECTIVES |

To provide a national forum for the members of the National Indigenous Survivors of Child Welfare Network where they are free to express their needs and concerns on behalf of Indigenous people affected by Indigenous Child Removal Systems in Canada.

To ensure access to services for Indigenous people affected by Indigenous Child Removal Systems in Canada.

To publish relevant, accurate and up-to-date information to Indigenous people affected by Indigenous Child Removal Systems in Canada

| HISTORY |

Headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario, the National Indigenous Survivors of Child Welfare Network – formerly the Bi-Giwen Indigenous Adoptee Gathering Committee, is a group of Indigenous adoptees that recognized the need to create a forum for other survivors – those that experienced foster care and inter-cultural adoption due to forced child welfare removal policy and practices during the era known as Sixties Scoop.

Since 2013, the NISCW Network has been involved in a number of initiatives, focusing on issues related to Indigenous Child Welfare reform both past and present. We have facilitated gatherings for survivors, organized rallies, ordered calls to action and advocated for our survivors. We will continue to work tirelessly for justice.

STAFF

Colleen Cardinal

Colleen Cardinal

Colleen Hele-Cardinal is co-founder and Coordinator of the National Indigenous Survivors of Child Welfare Network.

With the Network, she has successfully organized three national Indigenous Adoptee Gatherings in 2014, 2015 & 2017. She speaks publicly and candidly about murdered and missing Indigenous women and the impacts of the 60’s Scoop drawing critical connections between genocidal colonial policies and her lived experiences and those of women in her family.

She believes that sharing her story is an important part of her healing journey in addition to raising awareness and building solidarity and understanding within Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities.

Colleen continues to volunteer with several initiatives, including Families of sisters in Spirit and the Nobel Women’s Initiative Sister to Sister Mentorship program to address gender-based violence, while giving context on the making of Canada, treaty relationships and the dehumanization of Indigenous people through policy and media.

Colleen is a sought after dynamic, engaging speaker who has spoken all over Turtle island to diverse audiences seeking to understand MMIW2SG and colonial child welfare policies, historical violence and impacts of Indigenous people and community organizing at a grassroots level. She is the author of the much-anticipated Ohpikiihaakan-ohpihmeh (Raised somewhere else): A 60s Scoop Adoptee’s Story of Coming Home, which is forthcoming from Rosewood Press in June 2018.

Colleen is the proud mother of four grown children and enjoys spending all her free time with her grandchildren.

ELDER

Leroy-Bennett-Boozhoo

Leroy Bennett Boozhoo

My name is Leroy Bennett from the SagamokAnishnawbek First Nation and presently work as the Cultural Resource Worker.

I have worked in the helping field from youth homes, addiction centres and sexual abuse healing centre, for approximately 20 years. I have gained experience working with all ages of people. Our way of life has presented many opportunities that I would not have seen or experienced without taking the first steps into my own healing journey.

In September 2017, I began working with the Robinson-Huron treaty case. My work included performing ceremonies, pipe ceremonies, sweat lodges for the lawyers, judges, and chiefs involved in this case, and observing the court proceedings. Additionally, I have worked with international company Vale Inc. in promoting cultural diversity and promoting cultural sensitivity within the work  force for native people and completed opening ceremonies for Vale Inc., their stakeholders, the Premier of Ontario, and other dignitaries while representing Sagamok and First Nations spirituality.

In completing ceremonies within my home community this has bought a better understanding of how much more diligent we need to become in striving for our identity, which is unique to the entire world.

PRESIDENT

Elainekicknosway

Elaine Kicknosway

Elaine Kicknosway is Wolf clan, orginally from Northern Saskatchewan and a member of Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation. She is a survivor of the 60s scoop era and returned home in the mid 1990’s back to her community.

She is a singer, womans traditional dancer, participant in ceremonies and on-going learner.

Elaine supports and helps within drumming circles, ceremonies, talking circles, discussions related to intergenerational impacts of residential school and how child welfare has impacted the family today.

She has been within ceremony life since returning home in her 20’s. She is Blanket Exercise Facilitator for over 5 years and is also a co-founder of the Network.

Photo credit: Fred Cattrol

DIRECTORS

VickyBoldo

Vicky Boldo

Born in British Columbia and raised on Vancouver Island, is a transracial adoptee from the ‘60’s Scoop Era – although she was placed for adoption at birth she is a strong ally to the survivors of this time. Vicky is of Cree/Coast Salish/Métis heritage. Vicky is a registered energy medicine practitioner (ANQ) and has a certificate in journalism for Concordia. She is passionate about effecting change in policy, education and attitudes in social work, health care and education for First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.

She is highly involved in and around the city as Co- Chair of the Montreal Urban Aboriginal Community Strategy NETWORK. Vicky sits on the board of the Native Women’s Shelter, on the board of Montreal’s First People’s Justice Centre as Vice-president and is on the (Police

Service of Montreal) SPVM Aboriginal Advisory Committee. Most recently, Vicky was hired as Cultural Support Worker (Elder) for Concordia University’s Aboriginal Student Resource Centre. In 2016 she resigned from her coordinator position in women’s reproductive medicine with McGill University Health Centers (MUHC) to pursue her passions within the Urban community full-time.

Vicky has presented her personal healing journey in Australia and throughout Canada, at the 2nd International Indigenous Voices in Social Work in Winnipeg in 2013 and regularly guest lectures at schools, universities and colleges as well as to child and family services and public and private sector organizations.

Photo credit:  Janet Best

TealeyNormandin

Tealey Ka’senni:saks Normandin

Tealey is a Mohawk from Kahnawake, adopted at the age of three and raised in Ville LaSalle, a mere five minute drive across the Mercier bridge from her aboriginal community.

Supported by her adoptive mother, Tealey was reunited with her birth family at the age of twenty-four and thus began her journey to reconnect with her family and learn about her culture and community. A mother of three young adults, Tealey raised her family in the city and was an active community member involved with school programs and sports organizations.

A graduate of Concordia University, with a B.A. in Human Relations and Sociology and a certificate in Life and Executive Coaching, Tealey began working with the urban aboriginal population of Montreal in 2008, as a support worker and counsellor for women and families in transition. Advocating for her homeless clients, she joined the Montreal Urban Aboriginal Strategy Community NETWORK’s social services committee and is an active member of the Homeless Working Group.

Finding other indigenous adoptees and participating in gatherings she has built nurturing rlationships that have helped her to reconnect with her aboriginal identity. Today, Tealey continues her work in Montreal assisting indigenous women and families to find safe and affordable housing and supports, and encourages her adopted clients on their healing journey. She facilitates workshops, guest lectures for students of all ages, and brings the KAIROS blanket exercise to schools and health organizations. A passionate beekeeper, Tealey enjoys sharing with others what she has learned about the honeybee and the spiritual connection she shares with the colony.

Tauni

Tauni Sheldon

Tauni Sheldon was taken from her Inuit birth mother the day that she was born as a part of the Sixties Scoop; and placed into foster care in Toronto. She was “the first little Eskimo baby” as advertised for adoption in the Toronto Telegram. She was adopted by a non-Inuit family, and raised in rural Milton, Ontario.

Tauni has found her biological mother; and her family, in Nunavik, Northern Québec. She continues to learn her Inuit background, and Tauni’s son, Albie embraces his “Inukness” and shares Inuit culture wholeheartedly. Mother and son have reclaimed their Rites of Passage.

Tauni has a background in aviation as a commercial pilot for Air Inuit Ltd.; has worked with federally incarcerated Inuit & Indigenous populations; and is currently working with Inuit children in foster care in southwestern Ontario.

SECRETARY

Nadineprofile

Nadine Delorme-Simon

I was born in Toronto Ontario in 1974. My biological mother was born in Fort Resolution Northwest Territories, to a Cree/Chipewyan dad and North Slavey mother. My grandfather lost his status while serving in the army and my grandmother lost her status due to her marriage to a non- status man but she regained it in the early 1990’s through Bill C-31. My biological mother never received status, but all of her siblings did. Through discrimination within the Indian Act, my identity as an Indigenous person has been erased. My long form birth certificate states that my adopted mom is my biological mom who gave birth to me, not the Indian mother I have ached for. This is called “non-consensual enfranchisement”, in which Indian status seems to be disposable, as well as its historical legacies for Canadians to do with at will. For decades I have searched for my mother and brother. I still have not found them. But I did find aunties, a great Uncle and cousins upon cousins in the Northwest Territories.

I met my first relatives on February 10th 2014. I set foot upon my traditional lands on June 17th 2014. I moved to Deninu K’ue on December 9th 2014. Fort Resolution was the former capitalof NWT, the land of the midnight sun. I fell in love with the land, peoples and my husband immediately and that is why I could never leave and had to stay permanently. The ache and loss I felt for so many years faded as I felt the air touch my skin, when my feet touched the ground and when I saw my first eagle. The landscape has a heartbeat just like that of my lost mother, and I hear it and am calmed.

I am still searching for answers, as my original questions were not really answered yet and new ones that need to be satiated. I decided to start university to earn a Bachelor in Humanities with a concentration in Anthropology, graduate work in research and a dissertation on Indigenous Identity and Holistic Education. I am thankful for the life that was given to me, even if my identity is stolen. I am still here and I am living the life my mother was supposed to on her traditional lands. Now I work hard towards my children and children’s children to be able to enjoy their traditional lands, heritage and culture too. And I work hard so that our children can come home. Marsi cho

Nadine Ts’iiwo Helen Wasakahaw Delorme, Dene Sovereign, Deninu K’ue NWT