It’s long been known that Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall, the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) and the Metis Federation are working to craft a formal apology for the government’s role in the ’60s Scoop.
This long delayed apology might have to wait a while longer.
Wall recently received a letter from FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron. The letter requests a compensation package for scoop survivors worth up to $400 million.
“I would just say that’s not where we started with that apology, and the short answer is no. That’s not something the government’s going to be doing,” Wall said in regard to a payout.
“I think you can have an apology without money.”
The ’60s Scoop saw thousands of Indigenous and Metis youth removed from their homes and adopted by primarily white families. The repercussions of this move are still felt today.
This is why Cameron wants to see action accompany a formal apology. He said the idea for a compensation package is inspired by the federal government’s $800 million settlement with those who were taken.
“We were never against an apology, I mean we support it, but there has to be substance. It’s like us as parents saying ‘Merry Christmas children!’ And there’s no gifts under the tree,” Cameron said.
Cameron is fully aware of the provincial deficit. He said the settlement pitch is a starting point to begin a conversation on how best to support Scoop survivors once an apology is made.
“Something so that the survivors can continue to heal. Whether that’s investing in their children and grandchildren, that’s what it’s about,” Cameron said.
Another idea Cameron pitched is in the letter to Wall. It’s a trust fund for the children and grandchildren of those take in the ’60s Scoop.
According to Cameron, the Metis Federation is also believes action is central to a meaningful apology.
When asked about Wall’s refusal to offer a settlement, Cameron said his office will consult with FSIN leadership and scoop survivors to see what they think should be the next step forward.
If they are comfortable moving forward with an apology without a financial component, the FSIN is prepared to move in that direction.