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‘We failed’: Sask. Premier Scott Moe apologizes to 60’s Scoop survivors
Published Monday, January 7, 2019 7:43AM CST
Last Updated Monday, January 7, 2019 6:54PM CST
Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe issued a formal apology to survivors of the 60’s Scoop on Monday morning.
Moe was following through on a promise made by former Premier Brad Wall in the summer of 2015.
“This is a day for our government to acknowledge with honesty, with humility and with deep regret what happened in Saskatchewan,” Moe told the crowd assembled at the Saskatchewan legislative building on Monday morning.
Between the 1950’s and the 1980’s, around 20,000 Indigenous children were removed from their homes and adopted out to non-Indigenous families. Moe acknowledged those children were cut off from their traditions, culture and history.
“They were stranded in a sense, with no knowledge of who they were or where they came from,” “The children impacted by the Sixties Scoop are adults now, and we have heard their stories during the last few months,” Moe said.
The government hosted six sharing circles in 2018. It used those circles to inform Monday’s apology.
Moe said in his speech that he heard stories from survivors and saw what was lost during the 60’s Scoop.
“We failed the survivors we heard from in the sharing circles, and so many others. We failed their families. We failed their communities,” Moe said. “We failed.”
“To all those who lost contact with their family, we are so sorry.”
Moe said nothing can restore what is lost, but he hopes the apology will help the province move forward.
“We have many miles to travel,” he said. “My sincere hope is that we can travel this road together.”
Saskatchewan NDP leader Ryan Meili said Monday he hopes Moe’s apology will come with improvements to child welfare in the province.
“We have a long way to go,” he said in a written statement. “Today, there are over 5,000 children in care in Saskatchewan, most of them First Nations and Métis, and over 600 newborns have been removed from Saskatchewan over the past five years.”
“If these injustices persist, we need to do something about them, instead of waiting for tomorrow’s leaders to apologize for today’s wrongs 20 years from now.”
Saskatchewan was the last of the Prairie provinces to issue an apology to the 60’s Scoop survivors.
The full script of Moe's apology can be read here.
CTV's Creeson Agecoutay and Wayne Mantyka will be at the event.