October 6, 2017
Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde says Canada’s agreement in principle announced today to compensate survivors of the Sixties Scoop is a step forward towards healing and reconciliation; however, it can never undo the loss of identity, language and culture experienced by thousands of First Nations Peoples across the country.
“Children of the Sixties Scoop deserve justice and healing,” said AFN National Chief Bellegarde. “We acknowledge the efforts of Canada to provide compensation but only the individuals affected can determine whether or not this settlement meets their needs. The courts of Canada can never compensate, in any amount, the loss of family, community, identity, language and culture. True justice means creating hope and opportunity for the Survivors.”
The Sixties Scoop was an ongoing practice in the 1960s and ‘70s that saw the removal of large numbers of First Nations children from their families and communities and placed them in the care of Canadian and International foster or adoptive homes.
Today’s announcement of a negotiated settlement follows a recent Superior Court of Ontario decision that focused on approximately 16,000 people who were children of the Sixties Scoop in the province. This decision set a precedent for similar cases across the country. Further, it stated that Canada breached its common law duty of care to take reasonable steps to prevent on-reserve children in Ontario, who had been placed in the care of non-Indigenous foster or adoptive parents, from losing their Indigenous identity.
The AFN supported the Sixties Scoop class action, and in 2009 Chiefs-in-Assembly passed AFN resolution (Class Action Support Resolution re: 60’s Scoop, 16-2009) supporting the class action and the relief claimed, as commenced by Chief Marcia Brown Martel of Beaverhouse First Nation and Robert Commanda on behalf of First Nations peoples and communities in Canada affected by the ‘Sixties Scoop’.
The AFN is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada. Follow AFN on Twitter @AFN_Updates.
For more information, please contact:
Press Secretary – National Chief’s Office
Bilingual Communications Officer
613-241-6789 ext. 382
613-241-6789 ext. 254