'Pain, loss and courage': New art exhibit tells the stories of '60s Scoop survivors
A new travelling art exhibit focuses on the stories of 12 ‘60s Scoop survivors and their individual experiences during a dark chapter of Canadian history.
“Bi-Giwen: Coming Home, Truth Telling from the Sixties Scoop” was on display at the Regina Public Library on Wednesday and features artwork created by some of the survivors that reflects their experiences.
“Their pain, loss, and courage are apparent on each canvas,” said Sandra Relling, the Vice President of the Sixties Scoop Indigenous Society of Alberta, whose organization is partnered with The Legacy of Hope Foundation for this project.
The exhibit was created by The Legacy of Hope Foundation, a national, Indigenous charitable organization with a mandate to educate and create awareness on Indigenous issues.
Adam North Peigan is the president of the foundation, and believes that exhibits like this one are fundamental in the effort to combat systemic racism.
“The importance is really creating that awareness,” he said. “We all know that racism, systemic racism is alive and well in Canada. And I think if mainstream Canadians can take a step back and take the opportunity to learn a little bit more about the history of our people that it will impact those unhealthy attitudes that fuel racism towards our people.”
Peigan, a sixties scoop survivor himself, explained the deep meaning behind unveiling the exhibit in a public library.
“Where I went and where a lot of Sixties Scoop survivors went to find some sanctuary and some peace was to the public libraries, he said. “That’s the only place we felt safe.”
Relling explained that the exhibit gives insight to the trauma inflicted on the survivors.
“It gives us a better understanding of the impacts of child removal policies within the child welfare system and the ongoing effects as well as the long term effects that it has on people who have gone through those systems,” she said.
After moving on from Regina after its one day showing at the Regina Public Library the exhibit will continue its tour across Saskatchewan. Visiting North Battleford, Swift Current, Prince Albert, and Saskatoon beginning in October.
You can see testimonies from the 12 survivors featured in the exhibit by visiting The Legacy of Hope’s website at: https://legacyofhope.ca/bigiwen/