"I don't bear ill will to settlers," says Betty Ann Adam. "But anyone who's not Indigenous is living on land that was stolen from our people."
Adam is an Indigenous writer and journalist for the Saskatoon StarPhoenix, who has explored her own history as a survivor of the Sixties Scoop, when more than 20,000 Indigenous children in Canada were taken from their birth mothers and placed with mostly non-Indigenous families. The cultural effects for the children were devastating.
The history of Indigenous People suffering at the hands of European settlers spans centuries. And with Canada's 150th anniversary of Confederation on July 1, indigenous voices and their allies are bidding Canadians to listen.
Pay attention to the treaties signed with the Indigenous Peoples, Adam says.
Anyone who's not Indigenous is living on land that was stolen from our people.Betty Ann Adam
"Respect the fact that when we signed treaties, our people meant it, and we have been faithful to the treaties," Adam, who is Dene, told HuffPost Canada in an interview with Joshua Ostroff earlier this year.
"I want Canadians to understand that this is the time to remember where we all come from, and to recognize the need to respect everybody. But we claim the right to this special status. This was our land. And you're all welcome. And we will continue to honour the treaties, and we beg you all to do the same."
Adam also shared an important message about the need to welcome newcomers to Canada, just as the first settlers were welcomed by the First Nations.
Watch the video above for more.
Below: Trailer for 'Birth of a Family," co-written by Adam and filmmaker Tasha Hubbard on Adam's experience reuniting with her siblings, who were all separated in the Sixties Scoop.
Video clip: Josh Ostroff and Amanda De Souza. Text by Lisa Yeung.