'60s Scoop apology questioned by teepee camp organizers - APTN NewsAPTN News

’60s Scoop apology questioned by teepee camp organizers

Prescott Demas helped establish the teepee camp in Regina in 2018. (Del Crowe photo)

Kathleen Martens
APTN News
Members of an Indigenous protest camp in Saskatchewan are raising doubts about Premier Scott Moe’s apology to ‘60s Scoop survivors next week.

“I don’t know who will believe him,” said Prescott Demas, who helped establish the Justice for our Stolen Children teepee camp across from the Legislative Building last year.

According to the Regina Leader-Post Moe was behind the camp’s closure – something Demas said was always suspected.

“This speaks to his integrity,” Demas said in a telephone interview from Regina.

“This colours what he will say (Monday).”

Moe is scheduled to apologize to adult adoptees known as ‘60s Scoop survivors for his province’s role in taking or “scooping” Indigenous children from their families to be raised in non-Indigenous homes.

The practice happened across Canada between the 1950s and ‘80s and only two provinces – Manitoba and Alberta – have apologized so far.

The federal government has agreed to compensate some victims through an $850-million class-action settlement.


A banner on display at the protest camp. (Prescott Demas photo)

Demas said his brother was “scooped” and raised as a Christian in a white family but re-connected with his Indigenous culture at the camp that opened Feb. 28.

“He smudged and took to it naturally,” Demas said of access to medicines and the fire that was kept burning.

“I can’t speak for him but I don’t think much of the apology now.”

The camp started with one teepee in Wascana Park following the acquittals of white men accused in the deaths of Indigenous youths Colten Boushie and Tina Fontaine.

The Provincial Capital Commission warned protesters they needed a permit and called police several times.

But Police Chief Evan Bray – as confirmed in the recent Leader-Post story – urged mediation instead of confrontation.

In total 15 teepees sprang up to symbolize important issues in the lives of Indigenous peoples and their interaction with government in more than the justice system, said Demas, who was at the camp for six months or 197 days.

“We picked the name after agreeing that we have too many youth in the child welfare system,” he added.

A visitor book collected more than 2,000 signatures, and he said he spoke to hundreds of people about what the protest was trying to achieve.

Robyn Pitawanakwat, a former camp spokesperson, said the story confirms the government of Saskatchewan has two faces.

“If you’re continuing to perpetuate the same kind of trauma on the children and grandchildren of those (‘60s Scoop) survivors you’re not actually apologizing,” she said. “It’s lip service.”

Pitawanakwat said the story shows police gave in to pressure from a premier more concerned with property than people.

“In an era of reconciliation…they’re not actually concerned with improving the lives of Indigenous people.”

She said the issues the camp was trying to address remain and work continues at the grassroots level to make change despite the province’s conservative stance.

“They have very racist policies.”

 

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

22 Responses to “’60s Scoop apology questioned by teepee camp organizers”

  1. C.blackned@live.com'
    Connie Blackned January 5, 2019 at 8:49 pm #

    Very humiliating being forced to go to a foster home at the age of 16 years of age with my baby in 1978.

  2. boykoperry7@gmail.com'
    Perry Boyko January 5, 2019 at 8:37 pm #

    Scott moe is not a elected premier he never won a election so his apology on Monday will just be a gong show people of Saskatchewan need to remove mr moe from office . I myself am a 60 scoop survivor I have no respect for mr moe.

    • gonecrystal@gmail.com'
      Crystal February 2, 2019 at 2:28 am #

      This whole appology thing…payment… those in charge are lying. Lawyers are as worse as the non native homes we were put!! Like serious! This money is nothing as should be. The lawyers are getting 2× as much that each claimant…..will recieve. It’s so wrong. If anyone has info on a group fighting this…..? Id listen

  3. yellowwing@gmail.com'
    Michael Kannon January 5, 2019 at 7:23 pm #

    Will the SK Apology include the word Genocide?

    Buried deep in the text of the accepted 60’s Scoop Settlement Agreement, “The Defendant’s actions were also in contravention of the United Nations Genocide Convention to which Canada is a signatory.”

    The UN Genocide Convention states: “Genocide means ANY of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or IN PART, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
    (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”

  4. c*********@live.com'
    Connie Blackned February 19, 2019 at 6:51 pm #

    Very humiliating being forced to go to a foster home at the age of 16 years of age with my baby in 1978.

  5. b**********@gmail.com'
    Perry Boyko February 19, 2019 at 6:44 pm #

    Scott moe is not a elected premier he never won a election so his apology on Monday will just be a gong show people of Saskatchewan need to remove mr moe from office . I myself am a 60 scoop survivor I have no respect for mr moe.

    • g**********@gmail.com'
      Crystal February 19, 2019 at 6:51 pm #

      This whole appology thing…payment… those in charge are lying. Lawyers are as worse as the non native homes we were put!! Like serious! This money is nothing as should be. The lawyers are getting 2× as much that each claimant…..will recieve. It’s so wrong. If anyone has info on a group fighting this…..? Id listen

  6. y*********@gmail.com'
    Michael Kannon February 19, 2019 at 6:51 pm #

    Will the SK Apology include the word Genocide?

    Buried deep in the text of the accepted 60’s Scoop Settlement Agreement, “The Defendant’s actions were also in contravention of the United Nations Genocide Convention to which Canada is a signatory.”

    The UN Genocide Convention states: “Genocide means ANY of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or IN PART, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
    (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”

  7. Bergmam22@gmail.com'
    Mike January 5, 2019 at 1:43 pm #

    It’s a difficult issue. The government’s of today did not imprison the children of then but are now left to reconcile the mistakes of others. I wonder what would suffice as an appropriate apology? Payouts? More land settlements? More political input from indigenous people? I’m neutral on the issue. It’s a serious one and one with no instant fix.

    • Fourdventures@outlook.com'
      Joseph January 6, 2019 at 5:42 am #

      Control of our own systems…respect for inherent rights, resource revenues as per treaty, where do you want me to stop…the stuff you mentioned are beads and trinkets.
      We never ceded this land nor our rights to self determination.

    • Wamni1@hotmail.com'
      George January 7, 2019 at 6:53 pm #

      They are still taking out children in record numbers so how can you say its from the past?

  8. delcrowe56@gmail.com'
    Del Crowe January 5, 2019 at 11:12 am #

    My photo of Prescott Demas in this story was uncredited.

    • Mark Blackburn January 5, 2019 at 9:04 pm #

      Hi Del, your name is in the caption. Thanks APTN News.

  9. b********@gmail.com'
    Mike February 19, 2019 at 6:51 pm #

    It’s a difficult issue. The government’s of today did not imprison the children of then but are now left to reconcile the mistakes of others. I wonder what would suffice as an appropriate apology? Payouts? More land settlements? More political input from indigenous people? I’m neutral on the issue. It’s a serious one and one with no instant fix.

    • f************@outlook.com'
      Joseph February 19, 2019 at 6:58 pm #

      Control of our own systems…respect for inherent rights, resource revenues as per treaty, where do you want me to stop…the stuff you mentioned are beads and trinkets.
      We never ceded this land nor our rights to self determination.

    • w*****@hotmail.com'
      George February 19, 2019 at 6:58 pm #

      They are still taking out children in record numbers so how can you say its from the past?

  10. mycwfamily@hotmail.com'
    Cynthia Wunderlich January 5, 2019 at 8:36 am #

    Film him setting up a new tee pee by himself to stay if he is really sorry. only then will anyone believe him.

  11. d*********@gmail.com'
    Del Crowe February 19, 2019 at 6:51 pm #

    My photo of Prescott Demas in this story was uncredited.

    • m*********@aptn.ca'
      Mark Blackburn February 19, 2019 at 9:52 pm #

      Hi Del, your name is in the caption. Thanks APTN News.

  12. m*********@hotmail.com'
    Cynthia Wunderlich February 19, 2019 at 6:51 pm #

    Film him setting up a new tee pee by himself to stay if he is really sorry. only then will anyone believe him.

  13. kinbasket.nathan@yahoo.ca'
    Nathan January 4, 2019 at 11:16 pm #

    My mother committed suicide in 1962 all her children were apprehended. So i lost my mom to the 60s scoop at age 13

  14. k***************@yahoo.ca'
    Nathan February 19, 2019 at 6:44 pm #

    My mother committed suicide in 1962 all her children were apprehended. So i lost my mom to the 60s scoop at age 13