(Wikimedia Commons photo)
More than a generation after an estimated 20,000 Indigenous children were forced into foster care or adoption, the federal government has an agreement to find resolution for “a dark painful chapter in Canada’s history,” said Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Carolyn Bennett on Friday.
On Oct. 6 Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada announced an agreement in principle with plaintiffs seeking compensation for the Sixties Scoop, which refers to the government’s widespread practice between the 1960s and 1980s of removing Indigenous children from their homes for adoption by non-Indigenous families or foster care. In its efforts to resolve class action lawsuits, the agreement in principle entails $500 to $750 million in compensation for Status Indians or Inuit affected by the Sixties Scoop. INAC also announced the investment of up to $50 million to establish a foundation to focus on healing, wellness, language revitalization, culture and commemoration that will be accessible to all of Canada’s Indigenous peoples.
“The survivors have identified the loss of language and culture, and therefore their identity, as the greatest harm,” said Bennett in a press release issued by INAC on Oct. 6. “The creation of a foundation will directly address the need for survivors to claim a secure personal cultural identity.”
In the announcement the federal ministry stated that the agreement in principle demonstrates Ottawa’s commitment to fulfill the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action, including the need for government to resolve longstanding disputes like the Sixties Scoop out of court.
Parties involved in the sixties Scoop litigation are working to finalize an agreement by the end of 2017, stated the INAC release.