Monday was the official start of a new era, and a day that will be remembered in history.
The provincial government detailed in the Speech From the Throne that they would be making an apology to the Indigenous community, and they delivered on that promise Monday morning. Dignitaries, elected officials, elders, and community members gathered at the Saskatchewan Legislature to hear from various speakers, including an official apology from Premier Scott Moe.
“Ladies and gentleman, this is an important day in the life of our province. This is a day for our government to acknowledge with honesty, with humility, and with deep regret what happened in Saskatchewan,” said Moe. “The 60s Scoop refers to a period in Canadian history when Indigenous children were removed from their families and their communities by child welfare services.”
He went on to say that what the people impacted by the 60s Scoop went through would be next to impossible to fully understand and he doesn’t “pretend to know.”
“In our province, we are only as strong as our families; we are only as strong as our communities. Family and community – those are the bedrock institutions, the foundation of a strong Saskatchewan. We failed the survivors we heard from in the sharing circles and so many others. We failed their families. We failed their communities. We failed. On behalf of the Government of Saskatchewan on behalf of the people of Saskatchewan, I stand before you today to apologize to say sorry. We are sorry for the pain and sadness you experienced. We are sorry for the loss of culture and language. To all those who lost contact with their family, we are so sorry. There is nothing we can offer that will fully restore what you have lost.”
The Premier said going forward there will be changes and progress made, noting that they’re implementing training to non-Indigenous foster families to better understand the culture these children have, doing what they can to keep siblings together who have entered the system, and through the adoption process.
He also added that we will learn from what happened, and as a province will work towards a better future.