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Gillespie Museum Hosts Talk on Surviving Canada’s Sixties Scoop on Oct. 18

Thousands of indigenous children were taken from their families and communities in Canada during an era coined as the Sixties Scoop.

Barbara Bad Elk is one of 20,000 indigenous children who were taken from their families during the Sixties Scoop.

A government program caused children to be “scooped” and placed with white adoption families, which began during the mid-1950s. Numerous children were abused and used as free labor or treated as in-house help.

Today, the grown children are referred to as Sixties Scoop survivors. Many of them are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, addictions and other mental health issues because of forced separation.

The survivors are also continuing to struggle with finding their families, culture, language and most importantly, themselves.

A free educational discussion about surviving the Sixties Scoop by Barbara Bad Elk, a Dakota from the Sioux Valley Dakota Nation in Manitoba, Canada, and her daughter Samantha Elk, will be held on Friday, Oct. 18, 3-4 p.m., at the Gillespie Museum on Stetson University’s campus. The event is co-sponsored by the Gillespie Museum and Stetson’s Organization for Native American Revitalization (SONAR). Light refreshments will be served. 

Bad Elk is one of 20,000 indigenous children who were taken from their families during the Sixties Scoop. She is a speaker, writer and co-hosts The Scoop podcast with her daughter. Her story of survival and the life-long pursuit of identity, love, family, spirituality and hope is inspirational. She is also the voice of other Sixties Scoop children who did not return home and keeps their memories alive.

Samanthan Elk
Samantha Elk, daughter of Barbara Bad Elk, is an amateur writer.

Bad Elk currently resides in Tallahassee and has written stories that have been aired on radio stations in New York City and Olympia, Washington and performed as a play at the American Indian Community House.

Bad Elk’s daughter is an amateur writer and blogger and newcomer to the podcast world. She expanded her cultural awareness after experiencing the United States’ cultural diversity while living in the Philadelphia area, Washington State and Florida.

The Gillespie Museum is located at 234 E. Michigan Ave. in DeLand. For more information, call 386.822.7330 or visit www.stetson.edu/gillespie.

-Sandra Carr