REGINA — Premier Brad Wall says the organization representing Saskatchewan First Nations has requested financial compensation be tied to an apology to victims of the ’60s Scoop.
Wall won’t say how much the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations is asking for in compensation.
“We wanted to make a decision around the apology,” he said Wednesday.
“It was offered informally, and now we’ve been working for a very long time to accommodate a more formal apology at the location and the time of the choosing of the Metis Nation and the FSIN.
“I respect the fact that they’ve now added an ask for money, a financial commitment from the government, but we haven’t made the decision.”
Wall announced two years ago that an apology would be coming for the policy that removed Indigenous children from their homes and placed them with non-Indigenous families — a practice that stripped the children of their language, culture and traditions.
He said at the time that the province did not intend to offer cash to the victims.
The FSIN could not immediately be reached for comment Wednesday.
Saskatchewan radio station MBC reported last month that federation Chief Bobby Cameron said he would be seeking the same settlement — or at least half of — a federal promise of up to $800 million for victims.
Wall said that’s not something the government’s going to be doing.
“You a can have an apology without money,” Wall said. “We still would like to go ahead with it.”
Wall has said he hopes the apology can take place before he retires in January.
Manitoba became the first province to apologize to Indigenous adoptees in 2015.
The Canadian Press