Manitoba Metis Federation Wants Reunification and Reconciliation, Not Words

June 18, 2015

Winnipeg, MB – Today the government of Manitoba issued an apology for its role in the 60s Scoop. Implicit in the apology is a subtle passing of the buck. While acknowledging the damage done to those stolen from their homes, the Government of Manitoba seems to be pointing the finger at the federal government.

The federal government may have been the prime catalyst for the 60s scoop, but it was provincial government that stole the Metis children. During that dark time of Canada’s history, the Government of Canada did not publicly acknowledge its jurisdictional responsibility for the Metis. It was the Government of Manitoba that took the Metis children from their families and from the Manitoba Metis Community. The provincial government cannot escape accountability for the harm inflicted on the Metis children of Manitoba. Metis children were not only stripped of their family and identity but were often subject to intolerance and violence.

During the lead up to this hastily formed apology, the Manitoba Government at no time reached out to or consulted with the Metis people. For reconciliation to take place, there must be a very real and meaningful discourse between the Manitoba Government and the Metis people of Manitoba that acknowledges and seeks to make restitution for this terrible ripping apart of Metis families.

“Words are only the first steps. The only way we can truly have closure on this matter is if they are followed by deeds,” states President David Chartrand of the Manitoba Metis Federation, “I commend a government that is bold enough to go and admit they were wrong, but if it is just an apology as a way to assuage their guilt and pass the buck to others, then I am very worried and concerned.”

Since 1986 the Manitoba Metis Federation through its Lost Moccasins program has been working hard to reunite lost Metis children with their families.  To date approximately a 100 Metis families have been reunited. However, there is not a firm number on how many of our Metis children are out there and lost. The scarcity of adequate information and lack of funding resources has restricted the search and rescue of the children wrongly taken from their homes. What we have learned from those children we have found is often a horrendous account of intolerance and abuse at the hands of strangers.

“I call upon the Government of Manitoba to put legs to their apology.  Mr. Premier, you have acknowledged the province’s role in the theft of our children, the loss of their identity and culture. Now, please right this terrible wrong. Help us bring our children home and bring healing to our people,” said President Chartrand.


The Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) is the official democratic and self-governing political representative for the Metis Nation's Manitoba Metis Community.

Believe in Yourself; Believe in Metis.


For more information, please contact:         

Jonathan Hamel, Communications Coordinator
Manitoba Metis Federation
Phone: (204) 586-8474 ext. 374
Cell:     (204) 806-4752

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