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'Survivor artists': Exhibit highlights work of Sixties Scoop survivors

A group of artists and Sixties Scoop survivors, from across Western Canada, held an exhibition of their art work called Darkness and Light: Survivor Art of the Sixties Scoop. It took place at Mount Royal University in Calgary.
Sarah Scout organized the exhibition, called Darkness and Light: Survivor Art of the Sixties Scoop. (Susan Holzman)
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The idea came from a Facebook group for Sixties Scoop survivors.

The Sixties Scoop happened in Canada from the 1960s to the late 1980s, when thousands of Indigenous children were taken from their parents. The majority were placed with non-Indigenous families.

Earlier this week, a group of artists and Sixties Scoop survivors, who initially connected on Facebook, met in person.

The artists, from across Western Canada, held an exhibition of their work called "Darkness and Light: Survivor Art of the Sixties Scoop", at Mount Royal University in Calgary.


Michael Fatt was scooped from his community of Great Slave Lake, N.W.T. in 1967 when he was two-years-old. He was reunited with his mother in 1997. "It just hit me like fireworks just lit up inside me," he said of finding his mother.  

Michael Fatt (Susan Holzman)

Alyse McLeod was just six weeks old when she was scooped from her Métis-Cree family. Her file was stamped, 'Métis not suitable for adoption,' so McLeod grew up in foster care. "The painting that I've done is a picture of a tar paper shack from a photo that I received of I where I was born." 

Alyse McLeod (Susan Holzman)

Sarah Scout, from the Kainai Blood Tribe in Alberta, was scooped along with her sisters when she was an infant. She coordinated the exhibit of artists from the Facebook group. "In a way this exhibition is our coming out party as Sixties Scoop survivors, we are survivor artists."

"The Neighborhood" by Sarah Scout (foreground) was part of Darkness and Light: Survivor Art of the Sixties Scoop, at Mount Royal University in Calgary. (Susan Holzman)