While the National Sixties Scoop Settlement Agreement established the funding and the charitable purpose of the Foundation, here was an opportunity to give direction to the Foundation through the authentic voice and direction of Survivors themselves. This was celebrated as a chance for the empowerment of those who thus far were terribly disempowered through their experience as children of the Sixties Scoop.
Between September 22, 2019 and February 15, 2020, the interim board appointed Engagement team hosted an online engagement survey and ten Sixties Scoop Survivor Healing Foundation Engagement sessions. The Engagement Process represents the best efforts of a small team who traveled Canada—East, West and North—with great ambition to capture and reflect the will of a broad, diverse and dispersed community.
We are honoured that hundreds of Survivors joined us to share their voices in person and online. It is our principle that all Survivor voices are heard, valued and respected and we stayed true to that by engaging self-identifying Survivors who lived on and off reserves, status, non-status, Inuit, First Nations and Métis from across Canada and elsewhere.
There were 525 participants that attended the in-person engagement sessions.
• 85.3% of attendees felt comfortable expressing their views at the session. • 85.2% of attendees felt they were heard at the engagement session. • 97% of attendees felt their background was respected at the session. • 90.7% of attendees felt the engagement session was meaningful. • 90.4% of attendees felt satisfied overall with the engagement session. Engagement sessions took place in Calgary, Halifax, Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Iqaluit, Toronto, Montreal, Saskatoon, Vancouver, Winnipeg, and Yellowknife.
In November 2019, the Engagement team launched an online survey as an additional avenue for Survivors to provide feedback. The same five questions asked during in-person engagement sessions were repeated in the online survey through digital formats that best matched the in-person experience and included similar background information that allowed Survivors to provide their thoughts and opinions on the Foundation. The survey was available in both French and English, included a welcome video from our Executive Advisors, and was accessible for hearing and visually impaired participants.
There were approximately 1,130 visitors to the survey, and of those, 400 participants chose to answer all five questions providing over 8,000 comments.
We wish to acknowledge the Survivors who have given of their time to provide input into the sessions, both in-person and online. For some, it was their first time speaking about their experiences and sitting with other Survivors. Importantly, we honour the dedication and tenacity of Sally Martel (Marcia Brown Martel), and those like her, who sacrificed much to stand up for truth and rights. The power of their collective commitment to this cause has been truly inspiring.