A large crowd filled the Kerry Vickar Centre theatre in Melfort Wednesday for a Sixties Scoop Apology Sharing Circle in the community.
The Sixties Scoop Indigenous Society of Saskatchewan (SSISS) is traveling across the province and hosting sharing circles in partnership with the Government of Saskatchewan, where survivors of residential schools and the Sixties Scoop can share stories as part of their healing journeys.
The Sixties Scoop was an era in Saskatchewan where the provincial government and its agencies removed Indigenous children from their communities and families. Patricia Whitebear, a board member with SSISS and speaker, told northeastNOW that Indigenous children were taken by governments of the day, whether they were status, non-status, Metis, or Inuit.
“It left us with loss of culture, identity, language, homeland, and it impacted us greatly,” Whitebear said.
Whitebear said SSISS contacted the Marguerite Riel Centre to let them know the sharing circle was happening and the Melfort area needed to be addressed. When speaking on stage, Whitebear said she could feel the pull of the audience.
“It’s so touching to the heart,” Whitebear said. “To see that people are wanting to learn more about healing for the damage that has been caused by the residential school era and now the Sixties Scoop era. It’s great to see so many young people here, I was totally amazed and in the moment of being excited of seeing this, and the excitement of people being here, paying attention and staying.”
SSISS will move next to Fort Qu’Appelle and Regina for their final stops, but encourage any survivors to reach out through their Facebook page Sixties Scoop Indigenous Society of Saskatchewan.
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