Government looking to engage with Sixties Scoop survivors

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by Morinville News Staff

The province is looking to form a meaningful apology to Sixties Scoop survivors and looking to engage with survivors and their families to do so.

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.

The Government of Alberta and the Sixties Scoop Indigenous Society of Alberta (SSISA) are holding engagement sessions in six locations across the province between January and March.

The 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.

A session is scheduled for Edmonton Mar. 1.

“Healing can only begin when we truly understand this heartbreaking historical injustice. That’s why we need to listen to survivors and families about what a meaningful apology should look like,” said Minister of Children’s Services Danielle Larivee in a release last week. “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.”

Richard Feehan, Minister of Indigenous Relations said the government need survivors and their families to be involved in this process to better understand how the Sixties Scoop affected their lives, how an apology could unfold, and how to give it real meaning and depth.”

Sixties Scoop Indigenous Society of Alberta President Adam North Peigan believes the engagement process will give survivors of the Sixties Scoop an opportunity to be heard.

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“I am pleased with our partnership with the Government of Alberta and our collaborative work towards healing and reconciliation for survivors and their families,” he said. “We look forward to listening to survivors help shape a government apology for the Sixties Scoop.”

The sessions will take place in Peace River Jan. 18, St. Paul Jan. 18, Fort McMurray Feb. 7, Lethbridge Feb. 14, Calgary Feb. 21, and Edmonton March 1.

All sessions run from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with cultural ceremonies at 7:30 a.m.. Sessions are open to the public. Those who cannot attend in person are welcome to submit input online. For more information, visit www.alberta.ca/SixtiesScoopApology.

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