Premier Scott Moe did not participate in a pipe ceremony prior to him apologizing to survivors of the Sixties Scoop adoption process.
On Monday just before the delivery of the apology in the Rotunda, the pipe ceremony, including smudging took place a few doors down the hall from the Rotunda.
The absence of Moe was noticed immediately.
“There was a pipe ceremony, which was a very beautiful thing to be a part of. Smudging with Elders, a pipe being based around and yet the Premier was nowhere to be seen,” said NDP leader Ryan Meili. “He was here in the Rotunda for the apology, but he wasn’t willing to sit down and be a part of that ceremony, which says to me there’s a real disconnect between the words that are said and the commitment to a real relationship with Indigenous Peoples.”
Premier Moe’s communication director Jim Billington says Moe missed the pipe ceremony as he was focused on the apology.
“The Premier was preparing for the delivery of the apology to the survivors of the 60s scoop, a historic event in our Province.”
A further noticeable issue prior to the apology delivery was the event was running long, which was communicated to the audience by co-emcee Rob Belanger, who stated there was not enough time to tell a story on how significant a flute song was.
While Moe did say sorry for the historical wrongs many people are looking for action to address child welfare issues.
“I think it was something that we have to do to appease them for a while. The whole situation to me and the situation everywhere is let’s do what we have to, to make peace for a while, but it doesn’t mean we’re going to take another step yet,” survivor Lori Deets said.
(PHOTO: Sixties Scoop apology ceremony. By Dan Jones)