Saskatchewan premier officially apologizes to ’60s Scoop survivors
‘ We are sorry for the pain and the sadness that you have experienced’
REGINA — Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe apologized to survivors of the ‘60s Scoop Monday for failing them and leaving them “caught between two worlds.”
“On behalf of the government of Saskatchewan and on behalf of the people of Sas- NANAIMO, B.C.— An 8- yearold boy has been killed in a collision with a pickup truck while riding his bicycle in Nanaimo, B.C.
Police say the accident happened just before noon katchewan, I stand before you today to apologize. I stand before you to say sorry,” Moe said before around 200 people at the legislature.
“We are sorry for the pain and the sadness that you have experienced. We are sorry for your loss of culture and language. And to all of those who lost contact with their family, we’re so sorry.”
About 20,000 Indigenous children were seized from their birth families and relocated to non- Indigenous homes starting in the 1950s
Sunday when the boy rode out of a driveway.
Emergency first aid was administered by Good Samaritans and police say the child received quick medical care from hospital staff, but he couldn’t be saved.
RCMP investigators obtained multiple statements and spoke with the driver of the truck involved in the crash.
Police said the boy was with a sibling when he rode until the late 1980s.
The practice stripped children of their language, culture and family ties.
Moe said the consequences are being felt to this day and he thanked the survivors, now adults, who told their stories at six sharing circles the government set up so that the province could better understand what happened.
“We are grateful for your candour and we are grateful for your courage,” he said.
Survivor Kerry Opoonechaw-bellegarde, 43, said she
out of the driveway and was wearing a bike helmet.
Investigators say alcohol, speed and drugs aren’t believed to be contributing factors.
The RCMP say the vehicle has been seized and will undergo a mechanical inspection.
“This is just a tragic occurrence,” Const. Gary O’brien said in a statement. felt lonely going into the legislature because she wanted her parents to be there.
Both of her parents were residential school survivors.
She had hoped Moe would mention the parents of those seized in his apology.
She met with Moe after- wards but left disappointed.
“I showed him the picture of my parents and I said, ‘You forgot to directly apologize to our parents,’” OpoonechawBellegarde said.
Robert Doucette, a survivor and co- chair of Sixties Scoop Indigenous Society of Saskatchewan, said he cried during the ceremony as he thought about lost members of his family that he’ll never see.
The apology was a highlight of his life and a step in the right direction, he said.
“I waited 56 years for this apology,” Doucette said.
“I heard the premier say he was sorry, and there was acknowledgment of the harms that they perpetrated on First Nations and Métis children and I appreciate that.”
Survivor Terri Parsons said the apology was very moving and needed to be said.
Alberta and Manitoba have already apologized for their role in the ‘60s Scoop.
Nanaimo boy killed while riding bicycle on the street
Premier Scott Moe said the consequences of the seizure are still being felt to this day.