Canada settles with indigenous ‘Sixties Scoop’ victims

Canada settles with indigenous ‘Sixties Scoop’ victims

Canada reached a major settlement on Friday with indigenous victims of the so-called Sixties Scoop [class-action website], agreeing to pay [BBC report] C$800 million ($635m; £488m) to some 20,000 victims, $50 million of which will be used for reconciliation initiatives.

“Sixties Scoop” refers to the practice in Canada of “scooping up” children of Aboriginal peoples from their families to place them in foster homes or to adoption facilities. An estimated 16,000 indigenous children were taken from their families and communities. The agreement includes restitution for the individuals who lost their cultural identities as a result of their removal from their families and into non-Indigenous foster and adoptive families, and it will also establish a foundation to contribute to healing and systemic solutions for survivors.

In February, the Superior Court in Ontario decided [text] for the indigenous plaintiffs’ class-action lawsuit against the Canadian government. A compensation hearing was set to take place October 11, but the lead claimant Marcia Brown Martel chose to close the court date to engage in discussions with the Canadian federal government to achieve recognition and justice for the thousands of individuals taken from their homes.

Canadian provinces changed their adoption policies in the 1980s when indigenous leaders, among others, began to condemn the practice as a form of “cultural genocide.”

This practice was not unique to Canada, however. Thousands of indigenous children were also gathered and sent to mostly non-indigenous homes in the US, New Zealand, and Australia during this time period.