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Government of Alberta looking to speak with 60s Scoop survivors

'60s Scoop survivors and supporters gather for a demonstration in Toronto on Tuesday, August 23, 2016. .
'60s Scoop survivors and supporters gather for a demonstration in Toronto on Tuesday, August 23, 2016. . THE CANADIAN PRESS/Michelle Siu

In an attempt to “shape a meaningful government apology,” the Alberta government is going to be speaking with survivors of the 60s Scoop over the next few months.

The Sixties Scoop Indigenous Society of Alberta will join the province for six different hearings to be held across the province. (Full list of dates below)

READ MORE: Alberta ’60s Scoop survivors say settlement a good start, but some families still torn apart

According to a release issued on Thursday, the sessions will focus on learning from survivors about how they were impacted.

“We need survivors and their families to be involved in this process for us to better understand how the 60s Scoop affected their lives, how an apology could unfold and how to give it real meaning and depth,” Indigenous Relations Minister Richard Feehan said in the release.

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

The sessions will all be seven hours long, running from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and will start with cultural ceremonies at 7:30 a.m. They are open to the public and anyone who cannot attend is encouraged to submit their input online.

“Healing can only begin when we truly understand this heartbreaking historical injustice,” Children’s Services Minister Danielle Larivee said. “That’s why we need to listen to survivors and families about what a meaningful apology should look like.”

READ MORE: ’60s Scoop settlement ‘first step’ in reconciliation with Indigenous victims: Bennett

The so-called scoop happened between the 1960s and the 1980s and saw thousands of Aboriginal children taken from their homes by child-welfare service workers and placed with mostly non-Aboriginal families. In some cases, children were sent to live with families in other provinces, the United States and even the U.K., often without the consent of their parents.

In October, the federal government announced a settlement with 60s Scoop survivors worth $750 million.

Dates and locations for the engagement sessions:

  • Jan. 18 – Peace River
  • Feb. 1 – St. Paul
  • Feb. 7 – Fort McMurray
  • Feb. 14 – Lethbridge
  • Feb. 21 – Calgary
  • March 1 – Edmonton

With a file from Andrew Russel, Global News

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