The provincial government and the Sixties Scoop Indigenous Society of Alberta will be in St. Paul next month to hear from survivors of the Sixties Scoop and their families. The province is planning a “meaningful apology” for the time in the 1960s when Aboriginal children were taken from their families and placed in foster homes or adoption.

Cold Lake First Nation’s Taber Gregory, baptized Henry Desjarlais, was the first survivor placed in the U.S. to be recognized by the Truth & Reconciliation Commission Canada in 2011. The province says many were placed with non-Indigenous families, and lost touch with their own families, communities, culture and traditional language.

“Healing can only begin when we truly understand this heartbreaking historical injustice,” says Minister of Children’s Services Danielle Larivee. “That’s why we need to listen to survivors and families about what a meaningful apology should look like.”

Engagement sessions are being held in six places across Alberta between January and March for the province to learn from survivors about how they and their communities were impacted, and what can be done to move forward. Emotional supports will be available and compensation will not be discussed.

The St. Paul meeting will be held February 1st at Blue Quills First Nation College from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Feedback is also being taken online.