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The Sixties Scoop Indigenous Society of Saskatchewan and the Government of Saskatchewan engaged those affected by the Sixties Scoop across the province that helped the provincial government prepare a meaningful apology.
The Sixties Scoop refers to a period in Saskatchewan's history when Indigenous children were removed from their parents and communities by provincial child welfare services. Status, non-status, Métis and Inuit children were placed for adoption and/or foster care and were raised outside of their communities without the influences of their Indigenous culture, values and languages.
The Sixties Scoop Indigenous Society of Saskatchewan (SSISS) partnered with the Government of Saskatchewan in 2018 to shape a provincial government apology that is meaningful and promotes healing to those affected by the Sixties Scoop.
Any individuals who were adopted, in permanent and temporary wards, are status, non-status, eligible to be status, Métis or Inuit were welcome to attend.
Individuals were invited to attend a Sharing Circle to hear from others who have been affected. Participants shared their stories, thoughts, experiences and learned more about the Sixties Scoop.
Talking about and reliving past experiences and traumas was an overwhelming and emotional experience for some participants. Health support workers and elders were available at each session.
Sessions were held at the following locations:
Each day started with a cultural ceremony, smudging and prayers. Opening remarks and a short presentation followed. Attendees were then invited to take part in Sharing Circles.
Each Sharing Circle was led by a SSISS facilitator to encourage meaningful and respectful conversation centred around three questions:
Art supplies were also available for those who wished to express themselves through art.
The purpose of the Sharing Circles was to help inform the Government of Saskatchewan on how to offer an apology that is meaningful and promotes healing. For this reason, compensation was not discussed.
Online story submissions were accepted until November 28, 2018. All responses will remain confidential.
Input from the Sharing Circles and online submissions were used to inform the Government of Saskatchewan on what a meaningful apology would look like to those affected by the Sixties Scoop.
Read the Government of Saskatchewan's Sixties Scoop Apology on January 7, 2019.
The SSISS is a non-profit society formed by a group of First Nations, Métis and non-status individuals who came together to represent those affected by the Sixties Scoop across Saskatchewan.
All SSISS members were affected by the Sixties Scoop in some form and are committed to raising awareness and supporting those affected.
SSISS was a partner in planning and facilitating the Sharing Circle events.
Sixties Scoop Indigenous Society of Saskatchewan board:
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