Métis president unhappy with Manitoba’s ’60s Scoop apology

Manitoba’s Métis federation says its people are being left out of an apology to come this week for aboriginal children who were taken from their homes and placed with non-aboriginal families.

WINNIPEG — Manitoba’s Métis federation says its people are being left out of an apology to come this week for aboriginal children who were taken from their homes and placed with non-aboriginal families.

President David Chartrand said no one from the Manitoba government consulted with the Metis or formally invited him to the event set for Thursday at the legislature. The Métis were left out of the residential school settlement and it feels like the same thing is happening again, he said.

Manitoba appears to be blaming Ottawa for what is known as the ’60s Scoop when it was provincial social workers who seized aboriginal children and placed them with families as far away as the southern United States, Chartrand said in an interview.

“It’s the province that took our children. It’s the province that sold our children to the United States and other places. It’s the province that did harm to my families.

“Clearly we’re not going to let the province get away from this.”

Premier Greg Selinger is set to deliver an apology to aboriginal adoptees in what is thought to be the first by a Canadian province. The substance of the apology has not been released, but Selinger said it will acknowledge damage done to those taken from their homes and their culture.

Paul McKie, spokesman for Selinger, said numerous aboriginal organizations have been invited to witness the apology. The Manitoba Métis Federation was invited Friday by phone, by email and formally by letter, he said.

The province, along with affected adoptees, has been working on the apology for months, he said.

“Many people, groups and organizations have been invited,” McKie said. “There were informal consultations with many people.”

From the 1960s to the 1980s, thousands of aboriginal children were taken from their homes by child-welfare services and placed with non-aboriginal families. Adoptees have been fighting for recognition of their experience and a formal apology similar to that given to survivors of residential schools. Many have filed class-action lawsuits in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.

An apology without a plan and proper consultation with those affected is empty, said Chartrand, who has worked with ’60s Scoop adoptees and their families for years.

“You can’t just say ’I’m sorry’ and walk away. You did permanent damage here. You tore entire communities apart. Maybe they’re thinking if they say ’I’m sorry’ that ends my responsibility.”

Grand Chief David Harper, with Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak which represents northern First Nations, still remembers children being taken away from his community, never to be seen again. He said he will be there to witness the apology but will also be looking for more.

Many adoptees are still trying to find their roots, he said. They need counselling and help with repatriation, he said.

“I’m very glad that the premier is doing the honourable thing,” Harper said. “But words are one thing. Action is another. What kind of action is there for these people?”

Just Posted

UPDATED: Economy and health care expected to be hot election topics

Premier Rachel Notley makes announcement on Tuesday morning

Canadian women earn significantly less in pay, bonuses and profit sharing: study

TORONTO — Canadian women are paid 25 per cent less than men… Continue reading

UK’s May asks EU to delay Brexit until June 30

LONDON — Prime Minister Theresa May formally asked the European Union on… Continue reading

Politicians hitting the road for votes in Alberta election campaign

EDMONTON — After firing up supporters at campaign kickoff events, the leaders… Continue reading

Central Alberta resident launches fantasy board game

Central alberta man launches Kickstarter for board game A central Alberta resident… Continue reading

Opinion: Let’s be heard ‘loud and clear’ during provincial election campaign

By David Marsden During the banquet for Sunday’s Boston Bruins alumni game,… Continue reading

Documentary on Colten Boushie case to open Toronto’s Hot Docs festival

TORONTO — A film examining the case of a young Indigenous man… Continue reading

Want to help bees? Plant flowering herbs

Herbs are among the most useful plants in nature. They can tantalize… Continue reading

UN: Gene editing for human reproduction is ‘irresponsible’

GENEVA — A panel convened by the World Health Organization said it… Continue reading

Photos: Three moose spotted in Red Deer Tuesday

Three moose were spotted in Red Deer Tuesday morning. Red Deer resident… Continue reading

Andreescu rockets to No. 24 in WTA Tour rankings after Indian Wells title

Canada’s Bianca Andreescu has rocketed to No. 24 in the WTA Tour… Continue reading

Canadian figure skaters looking to reach new heights at world championships

Nam Nguyen, Alaine Chartrand and Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro all have… Continue reading

Man linked to largest art heist in history freed from prison

HARTFORD, Conn. — A reputed Connecticut mobster who federal authorities believe is… Continue reading

Most Read