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Pjilasi Mi'kma'ki - Episode One

Surviving the Sixties Scoop

by Annie Clair

Pjilasi Mi'kma'ki - Episode One

KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) -- Welcome to the first episode of the new bilingual Mi'kmaq/English podcast PJILASI MI'KMA'KI, which, in Mi’kmaq, means ‘Welcome to Mi’kma’ki’.

In this episode, you’ll be listening to a story on survivors of a phenomenon called the ‘Sixties Scoop’. The ‘Sixties Scoop’ refers to the decades between the late 1950s to early 1990s, when Aboriginal children in Canada were removed from their families at a young age, en masse, and placed into largely non-Aboriginal homes. Many survivors of the ‘Sixties Scoop’, who are now grown ups, are trying to reconnect with their families, their languages, and their cultures. In a sense, they’re trying to find themselves.

I, for one, am a foster child. I was almost adopted out of my community of Elsipogtog First Nation at the age of three. My mother refused to sign my adoption papers, so instead I became a ward of the state and lived in a number of different foster homes within the community. I kept my language and culture and my identity, but struggled with the difficulties of life on the reservation.

I chose to do this podcast in Mi’kmaq and English because I want my people to keep their language, or in many cases to get it back.

In the first segment, I’ll be recounting the story of getting my foster child papers, as an adult, and learning about parts of my childhood I never knew about. This segment is in Mi’kmaq and runs until the 9:18 minute mark.

In the second segment, I talk with Colleen Cardinal and Andrew MacDonald, ‘Sixties Scoop’ survivors. This segment runs until the 19:30 minute mark.

To wrap up the show, in the third segment, I talk with Mi’kmaq lawyer Naomi Metallic.

Enjoy and see you again in about three weeks! App Nmultes!

And don't forget to visit the PJILASI M'IKMA'KI site!

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