Tag: legal

Media Advisory | June 25-2018

Media Advisory | June 25-2018

MEDIA ADVISORY Sixties Scoop Survivors to Canada and Law Firms: Renegotiate National Settlement Fees Now, Give Back Remaining Funds to Survivors! (Ottawa/Unceded Algonquin Territory – June 25, 2018) – The National Indigenous Survivors of Child Welfare Network is dismayed that the Sixties Scoop settlement is […]

NISCWN Demands Quick Renegotiation

NISCWN Demands Quick Renegotiation

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 […]

Letter to Survivors Re Settlement

Letter to Survivors Re Settlement

Dear friends,

Based on what we continue to learn about the proposed settlement, we have decided it is our responsibility to ensure that all survivors have as much information as possible to make informed decisions about the settlement, to know the difference between objecting and opting out, and to know what happens if survivors decide to opt out. The Network’s role is NOT to provide legal advice or to tell you how to respond to the settlement. Instead, we wish to provide information so you are as informed as possible on how it will affect your rights.

As we now understand it, the information leading up to the settlement is as follows:

  • Before beginning the Ontario class action lawsuit in 2009, the legal team at Wilson Christen LLP interviewed over 200 Ontario adoptees
  • The national settlement-in-principle occurred only because Marcia Brown wanted it to be a national settlement; she did not have to do this and if she had not insisted on national inclusion, we would now be witnessing only 22 communities in Ontario discussing their compensation. Everyone else across the country would be waiting for individual provincial law suits to go through the certification process to see if their lawsuits would be heard in court
  • Marcia Brown and her legal team at Wilson Christen negotiated for the settlement amount and the Foundation, as well as for the inclusion of foster and permanent wards
  • Class action suits often aim for a settlement of $15 000 to $25 000 per claimant- in this settlement, they negotiated for $25 000 to $50 000 per claimant.
  • Generally, class action lawyers take 40% of awards. In this settlement, they have agreed to 10%, shared among the four primary class action teams across the country
  • The working group of the Foundation has demonstrated that they are committed to an Indigenous-led Foundation
  • There is currently no negotiated settlement for Métis or non-status Indian survivors; although there is now a negotiating table between Canada and the Métis National Council
  • The reasons for the exclusion of Métis and non-status Indians from the settlement hinges upon the wording in the 1965 Ontario/Federal child welfare agreement that only accounted for Indigenous children on reserve.

While it is a good thing that the settlement has been greatly expanded, we stand in solidarity with our Métis and non-status brothers and sisters who are not part of this settlement, and we will continue to support them fully in their work towards Métis and non-status reconciliation and settlement processes.

With respect to opting out, we believe it is important for survivors to understand that if you opt-out you waive any right to a cash payout. You can, however, launch your own lawsuit or class action against Canada.

We also believe it is very important for survivors to understand that you do NOT need to hire a lawyer or sign a legal agreement with a law firm to get your settlement payout. There will be a one-page form that will go before an adjudication board. They will access any records necessary to verify your settlement claim.

All of us have the right to object to the settlement. While opting out means you will not be part of the settlement, objecting simply means that you are giving your opinion about it. Objecting will not affect your entitlement to a cash payout.

If you want to lodge an objection, you may do so at www.sixtiesscoopsettlement.info or attend the approval hearing in Saskatoon May 10th and 11th, 2018 in Saskatoon or May 29th and 30th in Toronto, ON.

We are opening the solidarity rallies to create a voice for everyone for or against the campaign, to provide more information to survivors, and to voice our solidarity with our Métis brothers and sisters.

If you have any more questions, please contact us or contact one of the four settlement law firms:

 

Ontario

Jeffrey Wilson, Wilson Christen LLP and Morris Cooper (Toronto, Ontario)

1-866-360-5952 ext. 217

 

Saskatchewan and Alberta

Tony Merchant, Merchant Law Group LLP

1-888-567-7777

 

British Columbia

David Klein

604-714-2070

 

Manitoba

Celeste Poltak, Koskie Minsky LLP

Manitoba Action: 1-844-819-8527

Saskatchewan Action: 1-855-595-2621

 

Other Provinces or Territories

If you live outside of the above provinces, you can contact any of the lawyers listed above.

 

We encourage everyone to participate in the rallies and to learn more, to stand in solidarity with each other, and to support a just resolution for all Métis and non-status Sixties Scoop Survivors.

If you have any non-legal questions, please give us a call at 1-866 456 6060 or at info@niscw.org.

 

Sincerely,

National Indigenous Survivors of Child Welfare Network

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Manitoba Métis Federation Response

Manitoba Métis Federation Response

[gview file=”https://sixtiesscoopnetwork.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Bennett.Philpott.sixtiesscoop.10.13.2017-copy.pdf”] Please follow and like us:

Sixties Scoop Lawsuit Questions

Sixties Scoop Lawsuit Questions

Posted on October 10, 2017by Sixties Scoop Lawsuit We invited lead lawyer Jeffery Wilson to clarify questions being asked. We set out the Sixties Scoop Lawsuit questions and Jeffery’s answers: Question: Can I still sue the children’s aid societies and the Ontario government for the […]

NISCWN Response to Class Action Exclusions | Press Conference

NISCWN Response to Class Action Exclusions | Press Conference

National Indigenous Survivors of Child Welfare Network news conference | October 10, 2017

In response to exclusion of Métis and non-status Survivors being excluded from class action settlement.

[gview file=”http://niscw.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/NISCW-Press-Release-Oct-10.pdf”]

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MEDIA ADVISORY | FRIDAY OCT 6 2017

MEDIA ADVISORY | Friday Oct 6 2017 Sixties Scoop Survivors to Canada: Fund Healing, Include Métis Survivors   (Ottawa, Algonquin Territory, October 6, 2017) Media Advisory. Following Minister Carolyn Bennett’s announcement of an agreement in principle for a National Settlement for Sixties Scoop survivors today, the National Indigenous Survivors of […]

Sixties Scoop settlement: Money can’t buy back culture

Sixties Scoop settlement: Money can’t buy back culture

Colleen Cardinal of National Indigenous Survivors of Child Welfare Network, “Money can’t buy back culture.” https://youtu.be/_cszX51H8qE Colleen Cardinal of National Indigenous Survivors of Child Welfare Network, “Money can’t buy back culture.” News and Movement Please follow and like us:

Ottawa Sixties Scoop survivors on federal settlement

Ottawa Sixties Scoop survivors on federal settlement

CLICK HERE FOR LINK: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/sixties-scoop-ottawa-survivors-1.4342893

‘A small step’: Ottawa Sixties Scoop survivors on federal settlement

Federal government announced $800 million for survivors

By Matthew Kupfer, CBC News Posted: Oct 06, 2017 8:06 AM ET Last Updated: Oct 06, 2017 12:17 PM ET

Sixties Scoop survivors in Ottawa are speaking out about the federal government’s announcement of a settlement for those who endured a child welfare program that saw thousands of Indigenous youth adopted out of their communities and put into non-Indigenous homes in Ontario.

The Canadian government has reached an agreement in principle worth $800 million with survivors, Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett announced Friday morning. The settlement applies to all survivors across Canada.

The settlement means survivors would receive $25,000 each if there are more than 20,000 claimants. If there are fewer than 20,000 claimants, each person would receive up to a maximum of $50,000.

Colleen Cardinal, co-founder of the National Indigenous Survivors of Child Welfare Network, was taken from her family in Alberta in 1972 and eventually adopted by a family in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.

“It is a small step, but we need to have a bigger say. We need more survivors at the table, not lawyers and government. We know what’s best for us and we know what we need,” Cardinal said.

Since her experience, Cardinal said her focus has been on health, wellness and forming a community among survivors. The network organizes gatherings that draw people from across the country and as far away as New Zealand who were adopted out of various Indigenous communities.

‘Small step towards reconciliation’

“It’s a small step towards reconciliation for [the government] to even acknowledge what they’ve done is wrong but they should be asking us for forgiveness,” Cardinal said.

It will be up to survivors to decide if the terms of the settlement are appropriate, she said. Cardinal spoke of her own experience of being separated from her sister. She has since been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder.

‘It’s like $50,000 doesn’t seem adequate to me.’– Colleen Cardinal, co-founder of the National Indigenous Survivors of Child Welfare Network

“It’s like $50,000 doesn’t seem adequate to me,” she said. “Maybe to somebody it is, but for me, I would rather honestly see programs led by survivors where we’re doing our own healing.”

She said the settlement could affect hundreds of Indigenous people living in the capital region, depending on whether Métis and Inuit are included.

‘I didn’t belong anywhere’

In February, an Ontario Superior Court judge found the federal government failed to prevent on-reserve children from losing their Indigenous identity after they were forcibly taken from their homes as part of what’s become known as the Sixties Scoop.

Marion Morton is one of the people represented in that lawsuit. She was taken from her family in Kenora, Ont. in the early 1970s, when she was barely a year old.

She was raised by a white family in Mississauga, Ont. and faced teasing at school for looking different than her brother. She said she tried to reconnect with her birth family and heritage as an adult.

‘When I started to look for my culture, suddenly I didn’t belong anywhere.’– Marion Morton, Sixties Scoop survivor

“When I started to look for my culture, suddenly I didn’t belong anywhere,” Morton said. “I think that was the greatest effect of the government’s decision to take children — to take me from my [reserve], to take me from my family and place me with a white family.”

She was left feeling that she was an Indigenous woman who didn’t know what that meant inside, Morton said.

“I don’t know whether money is going to make a difference as far as feeling that I don’t have my language, I don’t have my culture,” she said. “I don’t have so many things that I would have known if I’d just been left where I was.”

Separated from family

Lesley Parlane, who was originally from the Standing Buffalo Dakota First Nation in Saskatchewan, was also taken from her family at a little over a year old and adopted by a family in Calgary in the early 1980s, after moving between three foster homes.

The dollar amount of the settlement won’t replace what she lost, she said, and she’s far more focused on the acknowledgement that survivors were wronged.

Lesley Parlane

Lesley Parlane created a theatre production about the experience of Sixties Scoop survivors earlier this year. (Waubgeshig Rice/CBC)

“I never got to meet my biological mom,” said Parlane, who lives in Ottawa now.

“If I get a settlement, it doesn’t really matter what amount it is. The most important person in my life, I never got to meet her. So that’s never going to change that.”

 

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Dear Sixties Scoop Survivors:

Dear Sixties Scoop Survivors: I am so pleased we are where we are. Now, we are going forward with the settlement discussions and also, at the same time, the continuation of our case for financial compensation. I want to make clear that I, as your […]