By Mervin Brass

scoop Chief apology

FSIN Chief Kimberley Jonathan welcomes the opportunity to get things right by working with the province on the apology. Photo credit: Treaty 4 News.

Saskatchewan will follow in the footsteps of Manitoba issuing an apology to thousands of Indigenous children placed up for adoption in the 1960s – a practice nicknamed the 60’s scoop.

Premier Brad Wall says the province will make the apology sometime in the fall but not before consulting and working with First Nation and Metis leadership on the formal apology.

“The government is not entering into this with the idea of compensating with cash, some sort of cash payment for those in this issue, that’s not the direction we’re intending,” says Wall.  Instead the Premier wants to focus on educating the public about the 60’s scoop adoption process. “There’s much more awareness about the residential schools than there was about this particular issue, not just here in the province but across the country. I think that part is important but we don’t see this as a compensatory issue and I don’t see that position changing.”

“The reality is there were children taken, stolen from their homes, there were children stolen from their parents,” says FSIN Interim Chief Kimberly Jonathan. She looks forward to working with the government on the apology. “This is an opportunity for us the get this one right. With the Premier saying that there will be an apology, for him to even reserve it until a few months down the road, until he’s able to have meaningful dialogue with the families affected, with the people affected, with the Federation.”

Jonathan says she’s spoken with adoptees who want meaningful action that includes a task team to help with education, healing and going forward.

Justice Murray Sinclair, the head of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, says there is a link between residential schools and adoption.

“Well, the 60’s Scoop is directly connected to residential schools,” he says.  “Because we know that all of the kids that were left over in residential schools in the 60’s were transferred as case files directly into provincial agencies.”

Saskatchewan participated in a 60’s Scoop-style adoption program from 1966 to 1975.

Wall says he would like to meet with the FSIN and the Metis Nation – Saskatchewan this summer to begin planning the apology.

 

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One Response

  1. eleice

    Does this also for kids being taken away from parents and sent to non-native foster homes?

    Reply

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