WINNIPEG — Manitoba has become the first province to formally apologize to aboriginal adoptees for taking them from their homes and placing them with non-native families.
Premier Greg Selinger delivered the apology in the provincial legislature following a ceremony for those who were caught up in the ’60s Scoop.
Thousands of aboriginal children across Canada were taken by child-welfare agents starting in the 1960s and placed with non-aboriginal families.
Selinger acknowledged that the practice stripped aboriginal children of their language, culture and traditions, and had a similar impact to that of residential schools.
He said the harm the ’60s Scoop caused continues to this day.
Some adoptees, saying an apology is not enough, want formal recognition and a commission similar to one for Indian residential school survivors.
Class-action lawsuits have been filed in Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and Saskatchewan and aboriginal leaders have said they hope the Manitoba apology is accompanied by action.
Grand Chief David Harper, who represents northern Manitoba First Nations, said the province has to do more to reunite families and counsel victims.