Rhonda Lee McIsaac
Between the 1950’s and 1990’s child protective services across Canada took thousands of Indigenous children from their biological families, placing them into foster care and adopting them out. Adoption pulled indigenous children away from their traditional territories, often changing their names and denying their culture. Child welfare social services workers and the child welfare system failed many of these children and their families. The Sixties Scoop is another dark piece of Canada’s history that survivors are bringing to light. Survivors and families still feel the effects of displacement today.
Chief Marcia Brown Martel has been in the Ontario courts since 2009 fighting for justice for herself and over 20,000 others. Martel’s lawyers presented evidence in court alleging the federal government failed to prevent children from losing their Indigenous identity after they were taken from their homes, made Crown wards or adopted out to non-Indigenous families. After eight years of court battles with Canada, Martel and some plaintiffs settled with the federal government in October 2017.
On May 12 2018 Justice Michel Shore approved a Sixties Scoop settlement of $875 million.
Plaintiffs and the federal government agreed to the settlement. The settlement breakdown includes $750 million for survivors, $50 million for an Indigenous healing foundation to oversee a reconciliation process yet to be determined, and $75 million for legal fees. Manitoba and Alberta have apologized for their roles in the Sixties Scoop. Saskatchewan recently announced it intends to apologize in January 2019.
Since the court cases have been settled many survivors have been telling their stories from coast to coast. Stories of abuse, lost identities, lost cultures, lost languages, lost family ties, and lost souls resound throughout Canada and the world. With the settlement announced the claim administrator, Collectiva Class Action Services, set up community consultations.
Collectiva Class Action Services aims to use community visits to help claimants understand the application process and understand their eligibility for compensation under the Sixties Scoop Settlement. Local elders and qualified support workers will be available for claimants and their families.
Claim documents are now available at sixtiesscoopsettlement.info. Survivors can submit claims until August 30, 2019. Settlement amounts will depend on the total number of claimants. Claimants will start receiving compensation in 2020.
For questions call: 1 (844) 287-4270, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information sessions are set to occur from 9:30-4:30PM at all locations.
- Prince George, Jan. 7, 2019, Prince George Native Friendship Centre
- Kamloops, Feb. 18, 2019, location TBD
- Thunder Bay, Dec. 18, 2018, Victoria Inn
- Tkoronto, Dec. 21, 2018, Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre
- Montreal, Jan. 15, 2019, location TBD
- Halifax, Jan. 17, 2019, location TBD
- Edmonton, Jan. 21, 2019, location TBD
- Thompson, week of Jan. 21, 2019, location TBD
- Winnipeg, week of Jan. 21, 2019, location TBD
- Ottawa, Jan. 22, 2019, location TBD
- Timmins, Jan. 26, 2019, location TBD
- Whitehorse, Feb. 4, 2019, location TBD
- Orillia, Feb. 9, 2019, Quality Inn & Conference Centre
- Regina, week of Feb. 3 or 10, 2019, location TBD
- Saskatoon, week of Feb. 3 or 10, 2019, location TBD
- Calgary, March 4, 2019, location TBD
- St. John’s, March 12, 2019, location TBD
- Yellowknife, March 18, 2019, location TBD
- Kenora, April 2019, location TBD
- Iqaluit, April 2019, location TBD
NOTE: The dates of the information sessions are subject to change. For regular updates please visit http://www.sixtiesscoopsettlement.info.