Premier Scott Moe speaks during the Apology to Sixties Scoop Survivors at the Legislative Building in Regina on Monday January 7, 2019. (Michael Bell/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Saskatchewan premier apologizes to Sixties Scoop survivors

Share

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe has offered an apology for the province’s role in a practice that took away Indigenous children from their families and placed them in care of non-Indigenous families in the 1960s through 1980s, leaving them “caught between two worlds.”

“On behalf of the government of Saskatchewan and on behalf of the people of Saskatchewan, I stand before you today to apologize. I stand before you to say sorry,” Moe said at the legislature on Monday.

“We are sorry for the pain and the sadness that you have experienced. We are sorry for your loss of culture and language. And to all of those who lost contact with their family, we’re so sorry.”

Listen

About 20,000 Indigenous children were seized from their birth families and relocated to non-Indigenous homes in what became known as the Sixties Scoop.

Survivors of the Sixties Scoop say the practice stripped them of their Aboriginal identity, of their language, culture and family ties.

“It’s difficult for most of us to comprehend what the individuals of the Sixties Scoop went through,” Moe said.

‘We failed’

Robert Doucette, a Métis Sixties Scoop survivor, stands for a photograph in his home in Saskatoon, Friday, January 4, 2019. (Liam Richards/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Last fall, Saskatchewan joined with the Sixties Scoop Indigenous Society of Saskatchewan (SSISS) to hold sharing circles before the long-promised apology took place. The SSISS made a number of recommendations to the province, and within weeks the province announced it would deliver the apology.

“We failed the survivors we heard from in the sharing circles and so many others,” Moe said. “We failed their families and we failed their communities. We failed.”

Moe pledged to “learn from the experiences” and continue to engage with Indigenous communities.

Some survivors said before the apology that they hoped it would come with action to reduce the number of children in care.

Survivor Kerry Opoonechaw-Bellegarde, 43, said she was hoping to ask Moe personally to improve the foster-care system.

The number of children in out-of-home care in Saskatchewan was over 5,200 at the end of September.

Survivor George Scheelhaase said the government is apologizing for something that’s still going on. Children in Saskatchewan are still being apprehended in record numbers, he said.

“While there are still too many First Nations and Métis children in care, today we work with 17 First Nations child and family services agencies to deliver culturally appropriate child welfare services to our vulnerable children in over 60 First Nation communities,” Moe said.

Alberta and Manitoba have already apologized for their role in the Sixties Scoop.

With files from The Canadian Press and CBC News

Share
Categories: Indigenous, Politics
Tags: , , ,

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet Netiquette guidelines.

Netiquette
When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1. RCInet.ca’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. RCInet.ca reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3. RCInet.ca’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish or in one of the two official languages, English or French. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*