Robert Doucette, a Métis man from Saskatchewan, is part of the group working with the provincial government on its delivery of an apology to Sixty Scoop survivors. He says the fact the province is willing to sit down and listen to survivors is historic. (Bridget Yard/CBC) Saskatchewan survivors of the Sixties Scoop will have a chance to tell their stories in sharing circles — another step toward the province delivering a public apology.
The term Sixties Scoop refers to the period from the 1950s through the 1980s where thousands of Indigenous children across Canada were placed in the care of non-Indigenous families by provincial child welfare services.
The government says the sharing circles, announced Monday, will be facilitated by The Sixties Scoop Indigenous Society (SSIS) comprised of First Nation, Métis and non-status people affected by the event. Survivors’ stories will be used to create a report the government will use in formulating its apology.
"I expect these sharing circles will be emotional for may participants," survivor and society member Robert Doucette said in Monday’s news release.
"They are part of the journey toward healing for those in this province who experienced the Sixties Scoop."
The Saskatchewan government is working directly with the SSIS on the apology. Premier Scott Moe promised in March to deliver it personally. Sessions will form ‘meaningful apology’
Former Premier Brad Wall made a promise to apologize, but by summer 2017 he said that hinged upon First Nations leadership.
The government said Monday the sharing circles will help inform "a meaningful apology."
It reiterated it would deliver an apology "at an appropriate time and location." Mental health workers, elders to be present
The series of circles is scheduled to start October 13 in Meadow Lake and end November 24 and 25 in Regina.
Sessions will begin with a pipe ceremony. Supports like mental health workers and elders will be on site to assist those who attend.
The events will be closed to the media.
Anyone who is unable to attend is invited to submit their stories on the government’s website
As of May, the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) was not a part of talks with the government about an apology.
It did, however, recently help the SSIS host meetings for people with questions about the federal government’s $875 million settlement with Sixties Scoop survivors. Sharing circles locations
Meadow Lake at the Senior Citizen Activity Centre, 406 Fifth Avenue West, Saturday Oct. 13. North Battleford at the Western Development Museum near Highways 16 and 40, Saturday Oct. 20. Prince Albert at the Senator Allen Bird Gym at 851-23rd Street West, Saturday Oct.27. Saskatoon at the Saskatoon Indian & Métis Friendship Centre 168 Wall Street, November 3 and 4. Fort Qu’Appelle at the Treaty Four Governance Centre, 740 Sioux Avenue South, Saturday Nov. 17. Regina at the Mamaweyatitan Centre at 3355 Sixth Avenue, November 24 and 25.
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