NEYAASHIINIGMIING, ON — With the release of Silence to Strength: Writings and Reflections on the Sixties Scoop, editor Christine Miskonoodinkwe Smith and publisher Kegedonce Press give voice to seventeen Sixties Scoop survivors from across the territories of Canada. Their stories reveal the trauma, disruption and loss of identity felt by Indigenous children who were seized from their homes and communities in the 1960s through 1980s. This anthology of personal essays is a vital contribution to the all-important truth of Truth and Reconciliation. Miskonoodinkwe Smith proposed the book as a writing platform for survivors, a way to tell their stories and, importantly, to show that, despite the Canadian government’s attempts to destroy Indigenous identity, these survivors are still here, and they are strong. The book opens with a poem by the award-winning author of Bones, Tyler Pennock. The stunning cover art for the book is by George Littlechild, himself a survivor of the Sixties Scoop.
Dr. Brenda Wastasecoot, author of Showing and Telling the Story of Nikis, writes of Silence to Strength:
“Silence to Strength describes how searching and reclaiming one’s birth family is a long difficult journey, wrought with pain and grief and that truth and reconciliation is about finding their truth and at best recreating their family and community. ‘Standard operating practices of CAS agencies,’ were illegal thefts of children, who were deemed invalid, erasable, blank slates. Indigenous adoptees were caught in a system of assimilation policies and the pressures put on Canadian parents to make Indian children into white children. Many of them rebelled and found their way back to their people. Their stories bring Indigenous voice and vision to the center of reclamation and rebuilding.
“In the era of truth and reconciliation, we must listen with our hearts and minds. What can we do today, to advocate for children caught in these systems of non-care? If we are to change our society for the better, we must hear their stories if we truly care.”
Editor Christine Miskonoodinkwe Smith is a Saulteaux woman from the Peguis First Nation. She is the author of These are the Stories (2021, Kegedonce Press). She graduated from the University of Toronto with a specialization in Aboriginal Studies and received her Master’s in Education in Social Justice. Her first non-fiction story “Choosing the Path to Healing” appeared in the 2006 anthology Growing Up Girl: An Anthology of Voices from Marginalized Spaces. She has written for the Native Canadian, Anishinabek News, Windspeaker, FNH Magazine, New Tribe Magazine, Muskrat Magazine and the Piker Press. She lives in Toronto.
Kegedonce Press was founded in 1993 by Anishinaabe writer Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm. We are committed to the publication of beautifully written and designed Indigenous literature, both nationally and internationally. We have published works by some of the most celebrated and widely known Indigenous writers and storytellers in Canada, including Cherie Dimaline, Marilyn Dumont, Louise Bernice Halfe, Basil Johnston, Daniel Health Justice, Bomgiizhik Isaac Murdoch, Aaron Paquette, Sharron Proulx-Turner, Gregory Scofield, and Richard Van Camp, among many others.