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Long-awaited Apology for the ‘60’s Scoop in Saskatchewan

by pmnationtalk on January 8, 201917 Views

Long-awaited Apology for the ‘60’s Scoop in Saskatchewan

Now that the Government of Saskatchewan has formally apologized to the Indigenous adoptees of the ‘60’s Scoop, it’s time to ensure that current policies and practices do not lead to future problems. Indigenous children and youth are the fastest growing demographic in the province and are integral to a successful social and economic future for Saskatchewan. It’s an inescapable truth that meaningful change will not take place without strong and sustained leadership by the Government of Saskatchewan, the Federal government and Indigenous organizations, parents and communities.

The ‘60’s Scoop had a devastating impact on Indigenous children who were stripped of their language, culture and traditions. It was not uncommon for these children to suffer physical, sexual and psychological abuse and the effects are long lasting. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission called for action to reduce the number of Indigenous children in care and reform of the child welfare system. “If the core causes are not responded to in a significant way, then we will be caught in a vicious generational cycle,” said John Hanikenne, President of the Coalition of Indigenous Peoples of Saskatchewan (CIPS).

The federal government, through Crown Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs, is constitutionally responsible for “Indians and lands reserved for Indians” under Section 91(24) of the Constitution Act, 1867. As a result of the 2016 decision in Daniels v. Canada, the federal Crown owes a fiduciary duty to Indigenous children who are non status Indians or Métis.

The purpose of CIPS is to enhance, promote and foster the social, economic, educational, cultural, health, well-being and rights of status and non-status Indians living off reserve and Métis living in Saskatchewan. Our mission is to build a strong and effective representative organization based on the governance principles of legitimacy and voice; strategic vision; responsiveness; fairness; accountability; and transparency.

Quote from John Hanikenne, President of CIPS:

“The over-representation of Indigenous children and youth in care needs a bold new approach to support solutions that respect the rights of Indigenous children, youth and families.”

John Hanikenne, President
Coalition of Indigenous Peoples of Saskatchewan

Quick facts

The term ‘Sixties Scoop’ refers to the Adopt Indian Métis campaign launched by the federal government and implemented by several provincial and territorial jurisdictions including Saskatchewan. The term was first used in the 1983 report entitled Native Children and the Child Welfare System, written by Patrick Johnston for the Canadian Council on Social Development. This report provided strong evidence of the high number of Aboriginal children who had been put into foster care or adopted into non-Aboriginal families between January 1, 1965 and December 31, 1984.

The rights of Indigenous children are addressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of the Child and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

For more information contact:

John Hanikenne, President
Coalition of Indigenous Peoples of Saskatchewan
Tel: 306-922-0090
Email: metisman9@gmail.com

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