The Government of Alberta will be in St. Paul next month to speak with survivors of the Sixties Scoop and their families.
The province is planning a “meaningful apology” for the time in the 1960’s when Aboriginal children were taken from their families and placed in foster homes or adoption. The province says many were placed with non-Indigenous families, and lost touch with their own families, communities, culture and traditional language.
Lloydminster Native Friendship Centre executive director Bonnie Start says the apology is a beginning.
“First of all I think it’s a recognition of the wrong that was done. So it’s a starting point for healing and reconciliation.”
Engagement sessions are being held in six places across Alberta between January and March for the province to learn from survivors about how they and their communities were impacted, and what can be done to move forward. Start says she hopes the conversations will foster an impact with the government.
“There has to be training within their departments to make sure that this kind of initiative isn’t ever perpetrated again on a group of vulnerable people.”
Start adds that it is important for the government to hear from survivors of the Sixties Scoop so that effective steps for reconciliation can be discussed. The St. Paul meeting will be held February 1st at Blue Quills First Nation College from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Feedback is also being taken online.
With files from Erica Fisher.