REGINA – Maggie Bluewaters became part of the so-called ’60s Scoop’ at the age of four-and-a-half.
“Even as a child, I knew it was wrong,” said Bluewaters in an interview to Global News on Friday. “I suffered much abuse, pretty much from day one. Not only loss of identity but also severe sexual abuse.”
“I still do not know if my mother is dead or alive.”
Bluewaters, from the Montreal Lake Cree Nation, said she was taken from her family and adopted into a non-Indigenous household in central Saskatchewan until the age of 16.
“I have found two siblings so far and there are seven of us. I still do not know if my mother is dead or alive.”
Now at the age of 57, Bluewaters said she’s still healing: “The spiritual part of my life is still a work in progress.”
Many of the ’60s Scoop’ adoptees are seeking justice through a class-action lawsuit filed in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. The Regina-based Merchant Law Group is representing more than a thousand Indigenous survivors, including Bluewaters.
“The impact upon people’s lives is difficult to put into dollars and it usually depends on the kinds of wrongdoing to which they were subjected,” said Tony Merchant.
Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger is expected to apologize this week for the ’60s Scoop’ in order to acknowledge the damage done to cultural identity.
Merchant said it’s a step towards compensation.
“It’s an acknowledgement that the courts will consider,” said Merchant.