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Saskatchewan's Premier Promises Apology for 60's Scoop PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mervin Brass   
Wednesday, 24 June 2015 13:57

 

Saskatchewan will follow in the footsteps of Manitoba issuing an apology to thousands of Indigenous children placed up for adoption in the 1960s - a practice nicknamed the 60's Scoop.

Premier Brad Wall says the province will make the apology sometime in the fall but not before consulting and working with First Nation and Metis leadership on the formal apology.

"The government is not entering into this with the idea of compensating with cash, some sort of cash payment for those in this issue, that's not the direction we're intending," says Wall.

Instead the Premier wants to focus on educating the public about the 60's Scoop adoption process.

"There's much more awareness about the residential schools than there was about this particular issue, not just here in the province but across the country. I think that part is important but we don't see this as a compensatory issue and I don't see that position changing."

"The reality is there were children taken, stolen from their homes, there were children stolen from their parents," says FSIN Interim Chief Kimberly Jonathan.

She looks forward to working with the government on the apology.

"This is an opportunity for us the get this one right. With the Premier saying that there will be an apology, for him to even reserve it until a few months down the road, until he's able to have meaningful dialogue with the families affected, with the people affected, with the Federation."

Jonathan says she's spoken with adoptees who want meaningful action that includes a task team to help with education, healing and going forward.

Justice Murray Sinclair, the head of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, says there is a link between residential schools and adoption.

"Well, the 60's Scoop is directly connected to residential schools," he says. "Because we know that all of the kids that were left over in residential schools in the 60's were transferred as case files directly into provincial agencies."

Saskatchewan participated in a 60's Scoop-style adoption program from 1966 to 1975.

Wall says he would like to meet with the FSIN and the Metis Nation - Saskatchewan this summer to begin planning the apology.

Last Updated on Thursday, 25 June 2015 11:03
 
National Chief Criticized for Hiring Partner as his Senior Advisor PDF Print E-mail
Written by Manfred Joehnck   
Wednesday, 24 June 2015 13:46

The chief of one of the largest First Nations in Canada can't believe the Assembly of First Nations has not taken decisive action to eliminate an apparent conflict of interest involving its national chief.

Perry Bellegarde hired his long-time partner, Valerie Galley, as his senior advisor.

Six Nations Chief Ava Hill says when she learned about that back in March she wrote Bellegarde a letter expressing her concern.  She says his response was inadequate.

"You read his letter and what he says in there is 'I admit there is a conflict of interest but I have directed that she report to the CEO'," she says.  "But to me, that is not a satisfactory resolution to the issue."

Hill says other chiefs and the executive of the AFN should not be standing idly by.

"You need to ask other chiefs, what are they going to do about it?," she says. "You know, I've raised my case.  I raised it in March.  Nothing has happened, so I think it's up to other people to take up the battle.  I mean why isn't the AFN executive doing anything about it?  They all know about it.  They all received copies of my letter."

Hill says she is not challenging Galley's qualifications, but the optics of the situation.  She says it just plain looks bad and plays into the criticism that First Nations chiefs are not accountable and transparent.

A spokesperson for Bellegarde says the chief is travelling and will not be available for interviews today.

 
Provincial Firefighting Fleet Down a Water Bomber PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kelly Provost   
Wednesday, 24 June 2015 13:42

One of the province's water bombers is out of commission.

It's because the CL-215t air tanker struck something in the water on a La Ronge-area lake during a training flight on June 13.

Wildfire Management executive director Steve Roberts says the underside of the aircraft was damaged and it's not clear yet how much the repairs will cost.

"No, we have to get quotes from the engineering team at Bombardier in Montreal," he says. "They do all the engineering work. Once that estimate is done for the engineering, then we will have to price out the parts and how many man hours of labour it will take to take it apart, repair it and put it back together."

Roberts hopes they will get the plane back in the air within a few weeks.

It's already been flown to Abbotsford, BC for repairs.

The aircraft is one of six water bombers in the province's fleet.

 
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