OTTAWA – The Sixties Scoop is a dark and painful chapter in Canada’s history.
Working together to resolve class actions and bring a meaningful resolution to its painful legacy is an important step in our journey of reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.
Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs, together with Marcia Brown Martel, Stewart Garnett, Priscilla Meeches Catriona Charlie, Peter Van Name, Sarah Tanchak, and Jessica Riddle announced that an Agreement-in-Principle aimed at resolving Sixties Scoop litigation has been reached.
Throughout the past several months, the Government of Canada and counsel for the plaintiffs have been engaged in negotiations to resolve this litigation in a fair, compassionate, and respectful manner that promotes reconciliation and healing.
The Agreement-in-Principle includes the establishment of a Foundation that will focus on healing, wellness, language, culture and commemoration. The structure of the Foundation will be negotiated directly with representatives from the plaintiffs, their counsel, and representatives from the Government of Canada. The Agreement-in-Principle also includes individual compensation.
“The Sixties Scoop was a dark painful chapter in Canada’s history,” said Carolyn Bennett. “The survivors have identified the loss of language and culture, and therefore their identity, as the greatest harm. The creation of a foundation will directly address the need for survivors to claim a secure personal cultural identity.”
This Agreement-in-Principle is the first step in resolving the Sixties Scoop litigation. Canada is committed to working with other Indigenous people affected by the Sixties Scoop, and the provinces and territories who have already shown leadership in this area, to resolve the remaining litigation.
The government has committed to seeing all of the Calls to Action put forward by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission – this agreement is a concrete demonstration of that commitment.
In particular, this responds to Call to Action number 29, which calls on the government to resolve disputes – whenever possible – expeditiously and outside of the confrontational court setting.
– The Agreement-in-Principle represents a major milestone. Parties are working to finalize the agreement by the end of 2017, and will seek court approval through a fairness hearing targeted for Spring 2018.
– The Foundation for healing, wellness, language, culture and commemoration will be accessible to all Indigenous people.
– The Foundation will be designed in full partnership with Indigenous peoples and administered independently of the federal government.