Dear Kwakiutl Community,
Greetings from the Cariboo. I was asked to write a little blurb on what the Sixties Scoop Settlement is and what community members do if they are eligible and want to apply for compensation for loss of culture and language while in foster care or adopted to non-Indigenous families.
The basic facts are some children of the sixties filed a class action lawsuit against Canada alleging that Canada recklessly delegated indigenous child welfare to BC. Some may say Canada ignored and others may say intentionally allowed children to lose ones Indigenous identity and culture in the care of non-Indigenous foster parents or adopted out to non-Indigenous families. As well, Indigenous children when in these homes were never able to exercise their indigenous and treaty rights. In 2017 a settlement was reached to address the sixties scoop class actions across Canada and was approved by the courts. The claim centre is now open to receive applications. The settlement is for loss of culture, language and identity and open for individual people to apply. This compensation is for the loss of culture and is not based on the number of years you were in care.
You can apply if:
- You have a status card or are eligible to get one
- Removed from your home in Canada between January 1, 1951 to December 31, 1991; and
- Were adopted or made permanent wards and placed in non-Indigenous homes
Depending on the number of people that apply and are approved, individuals are expected to receive $25,000 - $50,000.00 each. A Foundation will be established to provide counselling and healing to class members. The deadline for filing claims is August 30, 2019. You do not need to hire a lawyer and can apply online at https://www.sixtiesscoopsettlement.info/EditRecord.htm?act=add&table=1&type=MEMBRES&lang=EN (you can google “class action sixties scoop settlement” which will lead you to the same page). If you do not have records to show you were in care or adopted than you can ask the administrators of the sixties settlement to obtain those records for you. You can contact the sixties scoop office at 1-844-4270 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note that if you wish to pursue a claim outside of the loss of culture and language for issues such as physical and sexual abuse while in care you should contact a lawyer to obtain legal advice as there may be time limits to those claims. There are Facebook pages and an Instragram page for further information and discussion:
Please call me at 250-305-8322 if you need further assistance to understand the process or submit your claim.
Elizabeth Hunt, Lawyer
Williams Lake, BC