Major Papers


sixties scoop, cultural landscape, historical trauma, colonialism, state paternalism, change


Through analyzing current literature on the Sixties Scoop and how it frames it origins and causes, many describe it as primarily assimilatory, even while acknowledging the historical legacies that contributed to problems in Indigenous communities and families. This paper will analyze the various perspectives on the Sixties Scoop, and argue that it was a complex process, a result of historical trauma related to colonial efforts and not a single, unified policy focused on assimilating Indigenous people into mainstream culture.

In pulling the thread of historical trauma rather than assimilation, this paper traces the streams of the past which help to focus on why Indigenous people are an incredibly vulnerable and dependent group, and it also allows for more education and understanding to offer more support. Through writing, this paper argues that to understand the Sixties Scoop, we cannot look solely at the government for the removal of thousands of Indigenous children from their homes. Instead, we need to look at its complex process that involve many factors, including residential school legacy, the longer history of colonialism, as well as a wider lack of education and ignorance that has shaped attitudes of society towards Indigenous peoples.

Primary Advisor

Dr. Miriam Wright

Program Reader

Dr. Guillaume Teasdale

Degree Name

Master of Arts



Document Type

Major Research Paper

Convocation Year