Sixties Scoop victims had the chance to tell their stories to the Saskatchewan government at a sharing circle on Saturday, helping the province create a meaningful apology.

Darlene Lanceley, who attended the Saskatoon event, was one of an estimated 20,000 Indigenous and Metis children taken from their homes and sent to live with white families between the 1950s and the 1990s.

“I didn’t have the privileges many Canadians did of having my mom kiss me goodnight and kiss me good morning, and tell me ‘I love you my girl, have a good day my girl, do good in school my girl.’ I never had that privilege,” said Lanceley.

Now, 30 years on, Saskatchewan is planning an apology for the Sixties Scoop – an apology Lanceley said has been a long time coming.

“It’s a beginning because for many of these people working for the government, it’s the first time they’re hearing these stories. We as survivors, this is not new to us,” she said.

“When people look at us, they don’t understand post trauma stress disorder, they don’t understand anxiety, they don’t understand mental illness, they don’t understand addictions, because those are symptoms after the effect of what we’ve had to live with.”

Around a dozen victims gathered at the event hosted by the Sixties Scoop Indigenous Society of Saskatchewan.

Melissa Parkyn, co-chair of the host organization, said this is about helping victims have a voice and share their experiences.

“We’ve seen a few of them cry and shed a tear. It’s not an easy thing to listen to,” said Parkyn. “It’s a partnership that we want to work with in the future.”

The sharing circles wrap up in Regina at the end of the month, where Premier Scott Moe is expected to attend.