$875M settlement approved for '60s Scoop survivors
Published Saturday, May 12, 2018 3:10PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, May 12, 2018 3:19PM EDT
A federal judge has approved an $875-million settlement for victims of the ‘60s Scoop.
Justice Michel Shore approved the settlement Friday evening following a two-day hearing in Saskatoon where several ‘60s Scoop victims took time to offer their thoughts on the proposed payout.
The ‘60s Scoop was a four-decade period of Canadian history beginning in 1951 where Indigenous children were taken from their homes and put into the custody of non-Indigenous families.
The Canadian government announced the $875-million settlement back in October, which offers $750 million to split between roughly 20,000 survivors, $50 million to set up an Indigenous Healing Fund and an additional $75 million to cover legal fees.
“It’s the right decision,” lawyer Tony Merchant, whose firm represents several ‘60s Scoop victims, told CTV Saskatoon.
“They wanted things to come to a conclusion and the people who wanted some change or said it could be better were overlooking the agony of the process, and the thousands of people with whom I've spoken over time — because this has been going on for nine years — say enough is enough.”
The reasoning behind Shore’s decision was not released Friday. Merchant expects the full decision to be made available in the coming months.
Not everyone at the meeting was in favour of the settlement approval. Coleen Rajotte wants to see the government redo the process because she argues not enough consultation was done beforehand.
“I’d like to see meetings set up across the country where it’s well-advertised and adoptees could come out to public meetings,” she said.
“If they lived in remote communities, every chief and council should be written and full information packages should be dropped off at every band office across the country.”
Rajotte is also worried that claimants will lose their right to sue the Canadian government over the matter in the future.
With files from CTV Saskatoon