In the wake of the recent Superior Court ruling in favour of Sixties Scoop survivors that recognized the Federal government’s failure to provide proper care for children, the Saskatchewan NDP is once again calling on the Sask. Party to finally make good on their promise to apologize for Saskatchewan’s role in the Sixties Scoop.
“Ever since they promised the apology, the Sask. Party has had one excuse after another for not actually following through,” said NDP First Nations and Métis relations critic Buckley Belanger. “The Sask. Party must end the delay and finally apologize for Saskatchewan’s role in this harmful program that ripped families and communities apart and had traumatic effects that can still be felt to this day.”
During the Sixties Scoop First Nations and Métis children were taken from their parents without consent and placed in non-Aboriginal households. Parents were typically not told where their children were. Saskatchewan formally participated in the Sixties Scoop from 1966 to 1975. In 2015, the Premier promised to formally apologize, but since then has failed to do so.
“In 1969, when I was only three years old, I was taken away from my family, I was taken away from my community, and I was taken away from my culture. It felt like I was being taken away to prison,” said Garry Tinker, a survivor of the Sixties Scoop. “I’m one of the lucky ones and was never physically abused but many, many were. An apology won’t make it all go away but it would mean a lot for the provincial government to, at least, acknowledge that they were wrong to scoop us all up.”
“We can’t expect individuals, families and communities to heal until we acknowledge and address the root causes of this trauma,” said Belanger. “Apologizing is a first step towards meaningful reconciliation.”