Survivors of the Sixties Scoop and their families are invited to help the provincial government form a meaningful apology.
An initial engagement session has been set for Jan. 18 in Peace River at the Bell Petroleum Centre co-hosted by the government and the Sixties Scoop Indigenous Society of Alberta (SSISA), says a news release Jan. 4.
Sessions will focus on learning from survivors about how the Sixties Scoop impacted them, to help shape what a meaningful government apology will look like.
“Healing can only begin when we truly understand this heartbreaking historical injustice,” says Children’s Services Minister Danielle Larivee, local Lesser Slave Lake MLA.
“That’s why we need to listen to survivors and families about what a meaningful apology should look like.
“These sessions are an important opportunity to learn from survivors about how the Sixties Scoop has impacted Indigenous communities and inform the actions we will take moving forward in the spirit of reconciliation.”
The Sixties Scoop refers to a period of time in Canada when an unknown number of Indigenous children were taken from their parents, families and communities by child-intervention services and placed with mostly non-Indigenous families.
As a result, many lost touch with their families, communities, culture and traditional language.
“This engagement process will give survivors of the Sixties Scoop an opportunity to be heard,” says society president Adam North Peigan,
“I am pleased with our partnership with the Government of Alberta and our collaborative work towards healing and reconciliation for survivors and their families.
“We look forward to listening to survivors help shape a government apology for the Sixties Scoop.”
All sessions run from 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (cultural ceremonies at 7:30 a.m.) and are open to the public.
“We need survivors and their families to be involved in this process for us to better understand how the Sixties Scoop affected their lives, how an apology could unfold and how to give it real meaning and depth,” Indigenous Relations Minister Richard Feehan says.
Another nearby session is scheduled for Edmonton on March 1.
People are also invited to submit input online on the website at www.alberta.ca/SixtiesScoopApology.