News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

June 18, 2015

PREMIER SELINGER ACKNOWLEDGES SUFFERING OF FIRST NATION, MéTIS, INUIT CHILDREN ACROSS CANADA DURING THE `60S SCOOP



The Manitoba government today took the historic step of recognizing the pain and suffering of thousands of Indigenous youth who were removed from their homes and stripped of their culture in what is commonly known as ‘the ‘60s Scoop’.

“With the release of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report, we want Manitoba to lead the way in the process of reconciliation,” Premier Selinger said.  “The social and economic impacts of this regrettable time in our history are profound and the effects it had on families cannot be easily reconciled.”

The ‘60s Scoop refers to the practice in the 1960s and beyond of placing First Nation, Métis and Inuit children of in Canada for adoption in non-Indigenous homes.  All too frequently, children were taken from their families and placed for adoption, sometimes far from their home communities, sometimes in other provinces, the United States or overseas, the premier said.

“By recognizing the existence of these tragic events in the legislature, the Manitoba government has taken a small step toward healing,” the premier said.  “Today, I would like to apologize on behalf of the province for the imposition of this practice.  I am deeply sorry for the harm it caused and continues to cause for survivors, their families and descendants.”

The premier said the actions of the government today are the culmination of the efforts of Aboriginal and Northern Affairs Minister Eric Robinson, who last year hosted a two-day roundtable with ‘60s Scoop survivors to discuss their stories and put forward an action plan.  This roundtable was the first such gathering in Canada hosted by a provincial government.

“The ‘60s Scoop has resulted in the disruption of our families and communities,” said Minister Robinson.  “The legacy resulting from this historic injustice needs to be honoured and I am pleased that our government is taking the lead in ensuring the painful history of our adoptees is recognized.”

Also present in the legislature today were ‘60s Scoop adoptees Coleen Rajotte and Marlene Orgeron, who experienced first-hand the legacy of being removed from their families.

“Like survivors of residential schools, the ‘60s Scoop has caused intergenerational trauma that continues to impact Indigenous families and communities today,” said Rajotte.  “Many adoptees struggle with post traumatic stress disorder, addiction and night terrors similar to what is experienced by residential school survivors.” 

“Governments across the country are now reviewing the calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada,” said Premier Selinger.  “Manitoba is working to implement many of the recommendations in the areas of education, family services, justice and missing and murdered Indigenous women.”

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