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An official Alberta government apology to the survivors of the Sixties Scoop started Monday with a procession and smudge ceremony inside the legislature.

Childrens’ Services Minister Danielle Larivee and Indigenous Relations Minister Richard Feehan took part in the smudge inside the doors of the legislature. Alberta officials’ role was to ‘shut up and listen’ to survivors, says minister

Indigenous people in ceremonial regalia circled the main and third floors of the legislature building to the sounds of drumming, and whoops from the crowd of survivors and family members.

Premier Rachel Notley was scheduled to deliver the apology inside the legislature chamber starting at about 1:30 p.m. MT. The procession for the Sixties Scoop apology assembled outside before heading into the Alberta legislature. (CBC) That will be followed by reaction from Adam North Peigan, a survivor and president of the Sixties Scoop Indigenous Society of Alberta.

The apology is the work of North Peigan’s group which started meeting with the government last year.

Before issuing an apology, the government wanted to hear from survivors on what would make it meaningful and sincere.

Larivee and Feehan’s ministries held consultation sessions in six communities across the province earlier this year to gather feedback.

About 575 people took part in the consultation sessions and another 286 made submissions by mail and online.

During the Sixties Scoop, provincial child welfare workers across Canada took thousands of Indigenous children from their families, placing them in mostly non-Indigenous homes from the 1960s to the ’80s.

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