FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sixties Scoop Survivors Network Welcomes National Settlement, Demands a Quick Renegotiation of Legal Fees and a Just Settlement for Métis and Non-Status Survivors
(Ottawa/Algonquin Territory – June 21, 2018) – The National Indigenous Survivors of Child Welfare Network welcomes the announcement yesterday that the national Sixties Scoop Settlement Agreement has been approved in part by the federal court. However, Justice Belobaba’s decision that approved the compensation and healing foundation while rejecting the legal fees for the three law firms outside Ontario effectively puts the settlement on hold until these fees are renegotiated.
Network Director Tealey Ka’senni:saks Normandin states: “Sixties Scoop survivors are sitting here in limbo yet again waiting on a colonized system to recognize us.”
The Network is calling upon Canada and the law firms involved in the settlement to negotiate quickly so that Sixties Scoop survivors do not have to endure further legal and administrative delays to receive compensation for the loss of culture they experienced in the child welfare system.
Network Coordinator Colleen Cardinal states “Who decided how much my loss grief and trauma was worth? The legal firms and Canada need to negotiate in good faith for a quick resolution so that survivors can finally be compensated. It is our pain, loss and grief at issue in this settlement and the legal firms are already receiving far more than survivors.”
The Sixties Scoop Settlement will provide compensation of between $25 000- 50 000 each to an estimated 22 000 eligible First Nations and Inuit survivors of the Sixties Scoop, and will establish a National Sixties Scoop Healing Foundation.
While the Foundation will serve Métis and non-status Indian survivors, settlement funds will only be available to First Nations and Inuit survivors. The Network will continue to demand that Canada come to a just resolution with Métis and non-status Indian survivors.
Network Director Tauni Sheldon summarizes: “Reconciliation from the Federal Government remains insufficient as the Métis, the non-status Indians and the vulnerable have been excluded. This must change. As an Inuk Sixties Scoop survivor, it is very hard to maintain much of an Inuit identity due to the separation from any of Nunangat homelands. Our Inuit children remain displaced and overrepresented in the Child Welfare systems.”
In February 2017, Justice Belobaba of the Ontario Superior Court ruled that Canada had breached its ‘duty of care’ to Indigenous peoples which contributed to a loss of culture for the estimated 24 000 Indigenous children who were removed from their families, nations and communities into predominantly non-Indigenous homes during the Sixties Scoop.
The Network is concerned about the most vulnerable Sixties Scoop survivors- incarcerated survivors, survivors who are homeless, sex working, living with HIV/AIDS, and survivors living with unresolved trauma and mental health issues and wants to see the Healing Foundation in place to support the development of programs and services for the most vulnerable survivors.
Network Director Vicky Boldo states: “As a National Network, we will continue to support allIndigenous survivors of the child welfare system on their journeys toward healing and wholeness.”
For more information, please contact:
Elaine Kicknosway, President and Co-Founder, NISCWN Cell: (613) 864-9016
Colleen Cardinal, Coordinator and Co-Founder, NISCWN Cell: (613) 407-7057
Vicky Boldo, Director, NISCW Cell: (514) 210-6663
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