Saskatoon

Métis leader disappointed with delay in Sixties Scoop apology

Métis Nation-Saskatchewan president Robert Doucette says he's disappointed there has still been no formal apology from the provincial government over the Sixties Scoop.

Formal apology promised last year, provincial government says scheduling difficulties caused delay

Métis Nation-Saskatchewan President Robert Doucette wants a firm timeline on when the provincial government will issue a formal apology on the Sixties Scoop. (CBC News)

Métis Nation-Saskatchewan president Robert Doucette says he's disappointed there has still been no formal apology from the provincial government over the Sixties Scoop.

That's the name given by some to the government practice in Canada from the 1960s to 1980s of removing of aboriginal children from their homes and placing them in foster homes or putting them up for adoption. 

Premier Brad Wall announced the apology would happen more than a year ago. The premier of Manitoba apologized in June 2015.

Thousands of children were taken from their families in the Adopt Indian Métis program between 1966 and 1975.

Doucette said he was told the apology had been delayed due to scheduling difficulties, especially due to issues around the latest provincial election, held in April.

"I haven't heard anything [lately] about this apology," said Doucette. "To say that I'm disappointed would be an understatement, because Premier Wall had promised First Nations and Métis people that Sixties Scoop survivors would receive an apology, and we're still waiting."

Critics say the Scoop robbed thousands of First Nations and Métis children of their language and culture.

"[The government] thought they knew better than our own people on how to raise our kids," he said.

"You first had the residential school, where they took our kids away, you had the Sixties Scoop, the second vestige of our kids being taken away again, and now we have the millennium scoop, where we have more kids in custody than the Sixties Scoop."

The provincial government says it's still committed to the formal apology, and is working with the Federation of Indigenous Sovereign Nations (FSIN) to find a date for the formal apology.