Advertisement

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says talks continue on ’60s Scoop apology

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley pauses to look out a window at Coal Harbour during an interview in Vancouver, B.C., on Tuesday December 6, 2016. .
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley pauses to look out a window at Coal Harbour during an interview in Vancouver, B.C., on Tuesday December 6, 2016. . Darryl Dyck, The Canadian Press

Premier Rachel Notley says Alberta can’t commit to any formal apology for the ’60s Scoop without talking to indigenous families about how to make the gesture meaningful.

She says what happened was traumatic and the effects on families still reverberate and need to be addressed.

“It’s not just a matter … of getting up and apologizing,” Notley said Friday.

Tweet This

“It’s really something that should be the outcome of some very meaningful engagement and discussion with the people who were victims of the Scoop. Our government will now engage in conversations with a number of different representatives of indigenous groups to determine what they think is the best way forward.

“Then we’ll talk about what it would look like after we’ve done that. Not before.”

READ MORE: What was the ’60s Scoop’? Aboriginal children taken from homes a dark chapter in Canada’s history

Indigenous Relations Minister Richard Feehan is meeting with affected groups.

Story continues below advertisement

An estimated 20,000 indigenous children were taken by child welfare agents starting in the 1960s and put into the care of non-indigenous families — both in Canada and the United States — on the premise they would receive better care.

The practice has been compared to the dark chapter of Indian residential schools since it stripped indigenous children of their language, culture and traditions. Many survivors have also said they were abused by their adoptive families.

READ MORE: Ontario judge rules in favour of ’60s Scoop survivors

In 2015, the Manitoba government became the first province to formally apologize for the trauma suffered by those removed from their homes.

Craig Makinaw, the Alberta regional chief for the Assembly of First Nations, said the next step should be meaningful action.

“There are other things that need to be dealt with other than the apology,” said Makinaw.