Sixties Scoop information meeting to be held tomorrow

Photo courtesy of dungodung via Flickr

Bailey Sutherland, Daily Herald

Indigenous people that were previously affected by the Sixties Scoop will have the opportunity to receive assistance in joining a class action lawsuit aimed at getting compensation for survivors.

A Sixties Scoop information session will be held today on the second floor gym of the Indian Métis Friendship Centre. From 11:00 am to 1:30 pm, Collectiva and its First Nations’ partners will be available to assist members of the Sixties Scoop Class Action Settlement in completing their forms.

The Federal Government of Canada and certain survivors of the Sixties Scoop have reached a settlement of class action lawsuits that provides compensation. The class action concerns any registered Indigenous person that was placed in the care of non-Indigenous foster or adoptive parents in Canada between January 1st, 1951 and December 31st, 1991, which resulted in the loss of cultural identity. Eligible class members could receive compensation between $25,000 and $50,000 depending on the overall number of eligible members.

Melanie Vincent, Organizer of Collectiva’s Sixties Scoop information sessions, says there are two eligibility criteria to apply for the claim. “They must be First Nations or Inuit from Canada, they must have a band number or Inuit number, or be eligible to have one. The second criteria, the people must have been either adopted, or made a permanent ward of the state, or been in foster care between January 1st, 1951 and December 31st, 1991”.

During the information session, class members will have access to professionals for answers to their questions, help in completing claim forms and financial planning information.

The claim requires eligible people to submit records proving they are survivors of the Sixties Scoop. If an interested person does not have their records, Collectiva can help. “What is important to understand is, if people don’t have all their records or information, there is a specific page on the form that people can fill out and Collectiva can search their provincial records to find out if they’re eligible for them”, says Vincent.

The Sixties Scoop refers to a series of policies enacted by provincial child welfare authorities, beginning in the 1950’s and ending in the early 1990’s, that saw thousands of Indigenous children taken from their homes and placed with non-Indigenous families, particularly white families. The “stolen” children lost all components of their culture, including their traditional names, their languages, and an overall connection to their heritage.

The Sixties Scoop was a part of a broader plan to force Indigenous people into assimilation, much like the residential school system; it is estimated that upwards of 20,000 children were targeted by the scoop.

Eligible members have until August 30th to claim compensation.

If you are unable to attend the meeting, but are interested in joining the class action, you can call Collectiva at 1-844-287-4270 or email them at sixtiesscoop@collectiva.ca.

For more information you can visit sixtiesscoopsettlement.info.