From left to right: Tasha Hubbard, Betty Ann Adam and Jacqueline Marie Maurice. All involved in a panel discussing the film Birth of a Family on Thursday night. Photo by Joel Willick.

A documentary featuring the emotional reunion of four siblings separated during the Sixties Scoop drew a large crowd of viewers on Thursday night.

Over 100 people came to the University of Saskatchewan for a one-night screening of Birth of a Family.

The film is about three sisters and a brother meeting for the first time after being taken from their Dene mother in Fond du Lac and placed in separate families across North America. Betty Ann, Esther, Rosalie and Ben were among 20,000 Indigenous children taken from their families between 1955 and 1985 and placed with predominantly white families.

Birth of a Family takes a fly on the wall approach to the reunion of these four siblings. The film’s director Tasha Hubbard says she was privileged to help tell this story.

“I was just always thinking about how this family was never allowed to be what it should have been,” she said. “So this is efforts from Betty Ann and the others to really bring into the world this family that should have been here all along.”

Saskatchewan journalist Betty Ann Adam was one of the siblings and she says this was a challenging and deeply personal story to share.

“It is not the sort of thing that I would normally want to share with the public,” she said. “But because I know there are so many people in the community who were taken from their parents as children…it set the course for our lives, it divorced us from our Indigenous families and that is the beginning of cultural genocide.”

Adam hopes the documentary will bring about healing and reconciliation.

The screening was followed by a Q and A panel with Hubbard, Adam and Dr. Jacqueline Marie Maurice (Photo above) an expert on the Sixties Scoop and Indigenous child welfare.

The film will be featured at several film festivals over the next couple months before being showcased on CBC in November.

It can also be requested for public showings at the National Film Board website.