Province sets date for apology to survivors of Sixties Scoop

It's been almost three years of work for Adam North Peigan and, in almost three weeks, he'll hear the results. Premier Rachel Notley will deliver an apology to Alberta survivors of the Sixties Scoop on May 28. North Peigan is president of Sixties Scoop Indigenous Society of Alberta.

'This apology that's going to happen didn't happen overnight. A lot of work went into it'

Adam North Peigan has spent three years working toward getting an apology from the provincial government for the Sixties Scoop. (Brandi Morin)

It's been almost three years of work for Adam North Peigan and, in almost three weeks, he'll hear the results.

That's when Premier Rachel Notley will deliver an apology to Alberta survivors of the Sixties Scoop. The date has been set for May 28.

"For myself, as a survivor, it means the world to me," said North Peigan, president of the Sixties Scoop Indigenous Society of Alberta.

The group worked closely with the government to inform the apology that will be delivered at the end of the month. Earlier this year, the government held a series of roundtable discussions across the province to hear from survivors.

"Throughout the process, survivors and families were clear that an apology is necessary for reconciliation," wrote Brent Wittmeier, press secretary for Children's Services Minister Danielle Larivee, in an email.

"We look forward to the 28th, and thank [Sixties Scoop Indigenous Society of Alberta] survivors, and their families for their strength and resiliency."
Sixties Scoop survivors came to Edmonton to share their stories and provide input on how the Government of Alberta should apologize for removing Indigenous children from their home and placing them with non-Indigenous families. (Brandi Morin/CBC )

Second apology in Canada

In 2015, Manitoba was the first province to offer an apology to Sixties Scoop survivors. North Peigan immediately started working toward something similar in this province.

He says the consultation process in Alberta was thoughtful and will be "precedent setting" for other jurisdictions.

"This apology that's going to happen didn't happen overnight. A lot of work went into it, a lot of developing a meaningful relationship with the Alberta government," North Peigan said.

"The apology is going to mean a lot, not only to the survivors in the province of Alberta, but to mainstream Alberta as well because it's an opportunity to create public awareness."

North Peigan is from the Piikani Nation in southern Alberta, but grew up bouncing between numerous non-Indigenous foster homes and group homes until he aged out of the system. 

"It's an acknowledgement of the loss of identity, the loss of culture, the loss of family, the loss of community and the loss of language. And basically a loss of who I was growing up."