Memories of a 60s Scoop Survivor
These are the Stories is collection of personal essays comprising the life of a survivor of the Sixties Scoop. Christine Miskonoodinkwe Smith reveals her experiences in the child welfare system and her journey towards healing in various stages of her life. As an adult, she was able to reconnect with her birth mother. Though her mother passed shortly afterwards, that reconnection allowed the author to finally feel “complete, whole, and home.” The memoir details some of the author’s travels across Canada as she eventually made a connection with the Peguis First Nation in Manitoba. These are the Stories is an inspirational and courageous telling of a life story.
“This is a heartbreaking first-person account of growing up in ‘care’, and the danger children face when they are scooped from their biological families and communities… but this is also a story about strength in the face of adversity, the struggle to heal from trauma, and also a journey of reconnection, healing, and ultimately finding a sense of home despite grief and loss. When people speak of resilience, this is what they mean.”
—Nathan Niigan Noodin Adler, author of Ghost Lake
“Christine’s story illuminates a pathway trod by far too many Indigenous children over the last 100 years. When Indian Residential Schools didn’t “kill the Indian in the child” Child Welfare agencies stepped in to finish the job. There was light however in the darkness for Christine, light that healed her brokenness through kindness, the connection of friends, and the reconstitution of a family. Lost and found, and lost again is a tragic summary of her experience of being scooped, to abandoned, to finding solace in the arms of a mother who died far too soon. Still, her strength shines through in her hope, her joy of storytelling, and her endearing ability to break open the hearts of those around her. She has a rare courage, and I’ve always admired her ability to show us all how it’s done, because this is a woman who truly understands how to ‘walk in beauty.’”
—Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux, Chair for Truth and Reconciliation, Lakehead University, co-author of Historic Trauma and Aboriginal People 2004