FSIN CALLS FOR RECONCILIATION FOR THE STOLEN CHILDREN OF THE SIXTIES SCOOP
(Treaty 6 Territory, Saskatoon, SK) — The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations Executive welcomes the news on the Ontario Superior Court ruling on the Sixties Scoop class action lawsuit.
“Acknowledging and addressing the injustice of the many First Nation children who were taken from their families in the 60s and 70s is the next step in the process of reconciliation,” said FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron. “There is significant trauma in being uprooted and stolen as children.”
The decision by the Ontario Superior Court Monday deals with Canada’s practice in the 1960s and ‘70s of removing large numbers of Indigenous children from their families and communities and placing them in the care of non-Indigenous foster homes or adoptive homes. This practice has become known as the Sixties Scoop. The Superior Court decision focuses on children of the Sixties Scoop in Ontario and affects approximately 16,000 people but could have impacts on similar cases across the country. The decision stated that Canada breached its common law duty of care to take reasonable steps to prevent on-reserve children in Ontario, who had been placed in the care of non-Indigenous foster or adoptive parents, from losing their Indigenous identity.
“Our First Nations people in our region have endured and experienced the same trauma and demand reconciliation,” said FSIN Vice-Chief Heather Bear. “We received a steady flow of calls from Saskatchewan survivors of the 60s scoop looking for information and support.”
The FSIN executive is watching the situation closely, and we are waiting for direction from our chiefs on how to proceed.
“These children were victims of colonial policies that were deliberately intended to rob them of their language, their rights and their identity. The adults who still suffer because of government policies need supports such as counselling, healing and reclaiming their identity and their culture,” said Chief Cameron. “The courts and governments need to act quickly to support these survivors in their healing, and that’s going to require resources.”
The FSIN represents 74 First Nations in Saskatchewan. The Federation is committed to honouring the spirit and intent of the Treaties, as well as the promotion, protection and implementation of the Treaty promises that were made more than a century ago.