WINNIPEG – Manitoba is set to apologize to aboriginals who were taken from their parents decades ago and adopted into non-aboriginal families.
The apology, thought to be the first by a Canadian province, is directed at individuals (adoptees) from the so-called ’60s Scoop, which many see as an extension of Indian residential schools policy.
Premier Greg Selinger said the apology, expected next week in the legislature, will acknowledge damage done to those taken from their homes and their culture. Manitoba was one of the provinces most affected, so it is appropriate that it be among the first to apologize, he said.
“It’s an acknowledgment that they did lose contact with their families, their language, their culture,” Selinger told The Canadian Press. “That was an important loss in their life and it needs to be acknowledged. It’s part of the healing process.”
Adoptees have been calling for a federal apology and many want compensation for their experience, which they say was as traumatic as that suffered by residential school survivors.
Selinger said he hopes the apology prompts the federal government to say it’s sorry.
“These policies were initiated at the federal level all across the country. We’re acknowledging the harms done in Manitoba and the need for healing in Manitoba. We’d like to see the federal government address it on a pan-Canadian level as well.”
[More at American Indian Adoptees blog here: www.splitfeathers.blogspot.com]
From Lara: I will be posting an update later today…