The Sixties Scoop Settlement

The Sixties Scoop Settlement

Photo Courtesy of Sixties Scoop Ontario 

By Katarina Ziervogel

In the Sixties, there was the Vietnam War, civil rights protest, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and political assassinations—all of which were the major events. What people did not consider a major event of a world-changing decade was the Sixties Scoops that occurred in North America.

The “Sixties Scoop” is one of many attempts at erasing Indigenous Peoples’ culture, history, and language. The Government of Canada and the United States arranged a massive act of removal, “scooping” many Indigenous children from their families, homes and community into a predominantly non-Indigenous, middle-class families across the North America, and in the process of stripping many Indigenous children of their cultural identity, which left them feeling completely alienated within the predominantly non-Indigenous society due to the severe lack of exposure with their own culture and community.

The unwanted separation has caused a lot of emotional and physical pain for the adoptees and their families who were heavily affected by the Sixties Scoop, further inflicting more damage on the relationship between Indigenous people and the rest of Canada and United States.

In October of 2017, a settlement was proposed by the federal government for an estimated 20,000 survivors who were taken from their families at a young age and adopted into non-Indigenous families between 1951 and 1991. The settlement is worth $875 million, meaning $50,000 per survivor’s claim, $50 million for a national memorial foundation and the remaining fees for the lawyers involved in the process. Lawyers fees are estimated to be $75 million, but that’s on hold for now unless the lawyers agree to separate their fees from the settlement or return to the negotiations with the court.

With the settlement coming close to its agreement, the next step moving forward is healing for the Sixties Scoop survivors.

If you have any questions about the Sixties Scoop and the settlement, please visit this website.