From the 1950s into the 1990s the Canadian Government & the Catholic Church were responsible for taking, or “scooping” more than 20,000 First Nation, Métis, and Inuit children from their families and communities; known as The Sixties Scoop. They were placed in foster homes or adopted (accounts of children even being sold) into non-Indigenous families across Canada, the United States, & beyond. Along with the loss of cultural identity, the government went so far as to change some children’s true ethnicity on file. Many experienced severe sexual, physical, and emotional abuse. The father of artist Jayli Wolf was one of these children.
“Child of the Government” is about his story which also determines Wolf’s own story. September 30 was Canada’s National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The day is meant to bring awareness and reflection on the legacy of Canada’s residential school system, which aimed to erase the languages and cultures of the Indigenous peoples of this land.