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Manitoba Sixties Scoop apology moves Indigenous families to tears
The CBC did a series of stories about the 60s Scoop and a new class action lawsuit in 2016.
The “Sixties Scoop” has not received the same attention as another dark chapter in Canada’s history: the issue of residential schools. And unlike survivors of the residential school system, adults who went through the Sixties Scoop have never received an apology from the federal government. Last June, the Manitoba government formally apologized to those affected.
Marcia Brown Martel, a member of the Temagami First Nation near Kirkland Lake, Ont., was taken by child welfare officials and adopted by a non-native family as a child. Martel has described what happened to her and thousands of others as “cultural genocide.”
I lost everything, including my name. I lost my family. I lost my language. I lost everything about my culture,” Martel told The Canadian Press. “This should never have happened. It was wrong.”
Dozens of supporters rallied outside a Toronto courtroom in August 2016 where an Ontario Superior Court judge heard opening arguments for a summary judgment in a class action lawsuit against the federal government by survivors of the Sixties Scoop.
At the heart of the Ontario lawsuit, is a federal-provincial arrangement in which Ontario child welfare services placed as many as 16,000 aboriginal children with non-native families from December 1965 to December 1984.
The claim, which has not been proven in court, alleges the children suffered a devastating loss of cultural identity that the federal government should have protected. The suit alleges plaintiffs suffered emotional, psychological and spiritual harm from the lost connection to their aboriginal heritage.
They are seeking $1.3 billion in damages, or $85,000 for each affected person.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs will argue they have enough evidence to forego a trial and prove that Canada had an obligation in law to ensure that indigenous children removed from their homes retain their cultural identity and heritage.
The August hearing comes after seven years of delays due to appeals by the federal government, which has fought the claim since it was launched in 2009.
Read more here: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/sixties-scoop