Fighting back tears, Prince Albert’s Nathan Meier said the Sixties Scoop had a huge impact on his life.
He still can’t believe he was taken away from his parents and family as a young boy.
Meier was one of 16 survivors who spoke during the Sharing Circles in Prince Albert Saturday, facilitated by the Sixties Scoop Indigenous Society of Saskatchewan.
He said some of his earliest memories involve growing up with white parents.
“To find out at the age of 21 I have eleven brothers and sisters on my mom’s side and ten more brothers and sisters on my dad’s side. And to find out as we travelled from our place of residence where I was growing up, we drove within 100 metres of my dad’s house every time we went to North Battleford,” he said.
Meier was able to re-connect with all of his siblings before they started to pass away.
“You know you can get over those feelings (of anger) as they say but it took me a solid year of work of being locked up with my meals provided. I didn’t have to look after anything except my own mental health,” he said.
Melissa Parkyn, the co-chair of the Sixties Scoop Indigenous Society of Saskatchewan, attended the Sharing Circles in Meadow Lake and North Battleford and said the stories have been honest and emotional.
“We’ve had some (survivors) that thanked us for coming and sharing their stories and they felt really honoured and they felt like they were in a safe place,” she said.
Parkyn shared her own story last week.
“It’s still not easy to talk about your story but it’s really healing and it’s uplifting and powerful,” she said.
The Sixties Scoop refers to the practice of child welfare agencies taking Indigenous children from their family and community between the late 1950’s and into the early 80’s.
The next round of sharing circles will take place in Saskatoon Nov. 3 and Nov. 4 at the Saskatoon Indian and Metis Friendship Centre.
A formal apology from the province is expected to follow the final Sharing Circle in Regina at the end of November.