On August 23, after years of delays, the Ontario Superior Court began hearing a class action lawsuit launched on behalf of survivors of the Sixties Scoop. The “Scoop” refers to the thousands of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit children across Canada who were removed from their homes by child welfare workers between 1965 and 1985 and placed with non-indigenous families. In 2009, two survivors filed a class action suit against the Government of Canada on behalf of 16,000 survivors from Ontario. The class action lawsuit argues that the government failed to ensure that these indigenous children maintained their traditions, customs, and indigenous rights.
“The worst part of a traumatic experience is to have that experience denied,” says Karen Hill, Director of Indigenous Services at the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies. “The trial will help bring to light such an important piece of history. It can also serve to help child welfare in a bigger way as we look at what we’re doing with Indigenous children right now.”
Survivors and their supporters held a rally on August 23 to acknowledge the beginning of this landmark trial. The government will present their case in December.
To learn more about the Sixties Scoop claim, visit www.sixtiesscoopclaim.com.