A Federal Class Action lawsuit for “Sixties Scoop” survivors is currently underway. Champagne and Aishihik First Nations wants to ensure that all our Citizens are informed and can take action if they choose.
This lawsuit applies to all Indigenous Canadians (registered Indians as defined in the Indian Act and Inuit persons or people eligible to be registered Indians or Inuit):
- Who were removed from their homes in Canada between January 1, 1951 and December 31, 1991 and placed in the care of non-Indigenous foster or adoptive parents.
- Eligible individuals must have been alive on Feb 20th, 2009 to be eligible for the settlement.
The lawsuit claims that children who were victims of the Sixties Scoop lost their cultural identity and suffered psychologically, emotionally, spiritually and physically. They were also deprived of their Status, aboriginal and treaty rights, and monetary benefits to which they were entitled pursuant to the Indian Act, RSC 1985, c I-5 and related legislation and policies.
If you fit within the above criteria, please review the following information AND reach out to our Community Wellness support staff here at CAFN so we can answer any questions you have and assist you moving forward. Staff contact information is included at the bottom of this letter.
- Individuals do not have to sign up at this time. Eligible individuals are assumed to be in the lawsuit unless they opt out. Once the settlement is approved then they will need to submit an Individual Payment Application.
- The onus is on the federal and territorial governments to find the relevant records, not on the individual.
- This will not be like the residential school process as there is no compensation associated with victims’ psychological or physical abuse – there is NO need to recount experiences to be eligible for the funds.
- If the proposed settlement is approved and becomes final, it will provide compensation to all eligible individuals who were adopted or made permanent wards and who were alive on February 20, 2009.
- Individual payments will depend on how many individuals across Canada are eligible. The potential payment for each individual will range from $12,000 to $50,000. Every person will receive the same amount. The total amount available for payments to individuals is $750 million.
- The proposed settlement requires Canada to invest $50 million to establish a foundation which will enable change and reconciliation and, in particular, access to education, healing/wellness and commemoration activities for communities and individuals. The Foundation is intended to bridge the generations and give meaning to suffering as well as to provide healing and reconciliation for the whole of Canada, now and for the future. Benefits from the Foundation are not restricted to those included in the settlement.
- Canada will work to ensure that the payment of these funds does not negatively impact or penalize anyone that currently receives Federal, Territorial or CAFN social benefits (i.e. income assistance, Old Age Security, Canada Pension Plan)
- If you disagree with the proposed settlement, you need to mail in a LETTER OF OBJECTION no later than April 30th, 2018. CAFN Community Wellness staff can help you write this letter. Please contact us immediately if you want assistance with this. It is a very simple letter and does not require significant personal details. If 2,000 letters of opposition are received then the settlement gets sent back to court for further review. If fewer than 2,000 letters are received, the lawsuit will proceed and you will still be eligible to receive a settlement.
- If you accept the payment, then you give up your right to sue Canada for anything at all related to the Sixties Scoop.
- If the settlement is approved and you still disagree with it, you will have an opportunity to “opt out” and exclude yourself from agreeing with the settlement and receiving funds.
- Canada has stated they do not have legal responsibility for emotional, psychological, physical or sexual harm experienced when someone was in care. If you accept payment under this class action lawsuit, you can still choose to participate in any lawsuit against the Yukon Government (or other relevant provincial government or society) responsible for removing you from your home.
- The Federal Court will hold an approval hearing in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan on May 10 and 11, 2018 at 10:00 a.m.At the hearing, the courts will consider whether the proposed settlement is fair, reasonable, and in the best interests of the impacted individuals. After the hearing, the courts will decide whether to approve the proposed settlement. It is not known how long these decisions will take.
- If the lawsuit is approved, individuals will then need to submit an Individual Payment Application form. CAFN will assist Citizens with the completion of these applications as needed. Payment will likely be issued within 180 days of the application submission deadlines. This means money is not likely to be received until the first half of 2019.
Please note that this class action lawsuit is a federal case and is not connected with any case that may come forward within the Yukon at a later date. At this time you do NOT need to register with any lawyers for the class action lawsuit that they have filed. We will work to keep you updated on new information relating to Sixties Scoop.
If you fit within the above criteria, please reach out to:
- Barb Hume, Wellness Manager at (867) 634-4200 ext 215 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Angie Nassiopoulos, Haines Junction Case Manager at (867) 634-4200 ext 213 or email@example.com
- Lisa Rawlings-Bird, Whitehorse/Takhini Case Manager at (867) 456-6875 or firstname.lastname@example.org
We are happy to answer your questions and assist you moving forward.
Information can also be found on the following websites: