News / Calgary

Forcibly seperated, sibling reunite in Calgary-shot documentary Birth of a Family

Tasha Hubbard's doc follows four survivors of the 60s Scoop

The sibling celebrate, and make up for lost time.

Courtesy NFB

The sibling celebrate, and make up for lost time.

Four Indigenous siblings – victims of the ‘60s scoop – are united as a family in Tasha Hubbard’s Birth of a Family.

This is not fiction.

Filmed primarily in Calgary and Banff, Hubbard – who herself is a survivor of the ‘60s scoop – uses the documentary format to draw attention to the lost time between family. It will air on CBC later this month.

“It’s a story that’s similar to my own,” she explained. “I had met siblings as a young adult. I understand what that’s like – when you don’t have shared memories with each other and you didn’t get to experience growing up together. I just felt like it was an important story to tell.”

For the unaware, the ‘60s scoop refers to a mass removal of Aboriginal children from their families and into the child welfare system – usually without the consent of their families.

The children were often placed with non-native families, robbing them of their cultural identities.

Siblings were often split up as well.

Hubbard, who also teaches at the University of Saskatchewan, discovered her for subjects – Betty Ann, Esther, Rosalie and Ben – and bore witness to a family taking shape.

Although the children are now adults, they didn’t get in the way of them having fun and finding a ways to play and laugh. Those were the most rewarding moments for Hubbard to document.

“I think it was very early on, realizing that this was their opportunity to, in some way, recreate experiences they would have had as children,” she said.

“As adults we don’t get a chance to play. I think that’s something that’s wrong with our society. They took this as a moment to have those experiences together and that really resonated with me.”

The film struck a chord with Calgarians during the Calgary International Film Festival this year and even won the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Edmonton International Film Festival. It continues to play across the country at festivals and community screenings.

It will air on CBC Nov. 9.

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