“I urge all survivors of the Sixties Scoop in Ontario to unite behind Chief Marcia Martel (Brown) and register as claimants in her case, the only Sixties Scoop case in Canada that has been certified as a class proceeding. Let her be our spokesperson for all Ontario survivors.”

Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day

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Dear Sixties Scoop Survivors:

I am so pleased we are where we are. Now, we are going forward with the settlement discussions and also, at the same time, the continuation of our case for financial compensation.

I want to make clear that I, as your representative plaintiff from the very beginning, back in February of 2009, will not settle without settlement including all persons who are the survivors of the Sixties Scoop. “All persons” means that it does not matter whether you were, or were not, living on the reserve when you were removed, or you were removed before 1965, or that you are not a status “Indian”.  Survivors, for the purpose of settlement, includes all aboriginals who suffered harm as a result of the Sixties Scoop.

I repeat: all that mattered to me when I started this case with Robert Commanda was that everyone who experienced the harm would receive compensation in any financial settlement. That is all that still matters to me.

SO:  ALL THOSE WHO EXPERIENCED THE HARM OF THE SIXTIES SCOOP ARE TO RECEIVE COMPENSATION IN ANY FINANCIAL SETTLEMENT WITH CANADA.

I am therefore sending out this message for any and all persons who experienced the harm of the Sixties Scoop to register with our case by:

  • clicking on the words “Registration as a Class Member”at the top of the website page at www.sixtiessccoopclaim.com and sending in the registration form, or
  • contacting us by phoneat:  416-956-5625, 1-866-360-5952 (toll free), or

I have learned that there are other lawyers attempting to organize a new representative to our claim in a new and separate case.  I share this with you about this new case with a different lawyer:

  1. Our case is the only case in Canada that is certified as a class action;
  1. Our case is, therefore, the only case in Canada with a decision finding the Government of Canada legally responsible for the harm we suffered;
  1. Our case is, therefore, the only case in Canada at the stage of pursuing damages before the Court, if settlement discussions end; and
  1. Our case is the case copied by the other lawyers in other jurisdictions. Those cases, including the new and separate one in Ontario, are at the beginning of litigation, with their lawyers doing nothing until our case was decided.
  1. Our case is the case that has brought Canada to the table to discuss settlement. Our case is the case that has awakened Canada to the fact of what the Minister calls “the dark chapter in Canadian history”.

SO, let us honour those survivors who are, sadly, not with us by joining together and all of us, status or non-status, living or not living on a Band reserve when removed, forced off our lands before or after 1965, coming forward and registering.

ONCE YOU COME FORWARD AND REGISTER, THEN:

  • WE WILL BE SENDING TO YOU REGULAR UPDATES ON THE CASE AND ON THE STATUS OF THE SETTLEMENT DISCUSSIONS
  • YOU WILL KNOW AS MUCH AS I DO, AND AS SOON AS I DO, ABOUT FINANCIAL COMPENSATION
  • YOU CAN PARTICIPATE IN THE CONSULTATION PROCESS  THAT I, AND OUR FIRST NATIONS STEERING COMMITTEE, WILL HAVE WITH YOU ABOUT ANY SETTLEMENT. YOU WLL BE TALKING TO US, NOT ONLY THE LAWYERS!

ALL OF US: let us be one with our history to make sure this never happens again.

Meegwetch

Chief Marcia Martel (Brown)

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After the February 14, 2017 decision:

  • Register/sign up to be included in the Ontario Sixties Scoop Class Action
  • Negotiations are now occurring. Make sure you sign up whether you are a Status or non-Status Indian, lived or did not live on a reserve, or were removed before 1965.
  • All that matters is that you were removed in Ontario. It does not matter that you were placed outside Ontario.

Thank you to all who have assisted us to reach the stage of proving liability, demonstrating that a wrong-in-law did take place.
Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Norther Affairs, stated in the House of Commons on February 15, 2017 that the Government will “absolutely” not be appealing. But, we have seen before, as recently as February 1st and February 2nd, 2017 how the Minister says one thing on Wednesday (i.e. “dark chapter” in Canadian history and no more litigation) and the government does the other on Thursday (i.e. file a brief with the Judge asking for the 8th time for the case to be dismissed). The government has 30 days to appeal from February 14, 2017. We are advised Canada will try to negotiate an across-Canada settlement and, until that occurs, if ever, the Ontario case will continue and proceed to the damages stage. The judge will hear evidence and be asked to assess the amount of money that should be paid to the victims of the Ontario Sixties Scoop. Representative plaintiff Marcia Brown Martel will be presenting to the judge a request for an aggregate sum of damages to provide for programs that ensure that what happened to the Sixties Scoop Survivors cannot happen again.
With the ruling, we celebrate:

  • A judicial finding that our children have voices and their harm has been heard
  • the fact that this is the first case in the western world of law that says that our government has a duty to protect our cultural identity;
  • the fact that this is the first case in the western world of law that says that the duty to protect our cultural identity belongs to each of us as individuals, and is not reserved exclusively to our Bands or Chiefs to assert a collective right. Each of us is deserved of respect and recognition of her or his Indigenous traditions, customs and language. Cultural identity is an individual right. 

Ceremonial sharing video and media reporting of the Sixties Scoop Judicial Decision

  • If you would like to watch the ceremonial sharing of the February 14, 2017 decision of the Honourable Justice Edward Belobaba that took place that day at the Native Child and Family Services Centre in Toronto, click here.
  • If you would like to have a listing of the media articles that captured the event of the Honourable Judge’s ruling, click here.

Meegwetch
Ontario Sixties Scoop Steering Committee

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FINALLY!

We post the decision of the Honourable Justice Edward Belobaba on the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. Click here to read.

The media conference will be at 1:00 p.m. EST today and it will be live-streamed to https://livestream.com/accounts/9684327/events/7011060.

Thank you

Ontario Sixties Scoop Steering Committee

 

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DECISION – FEBRUARY 14, 2017

REPRESENTATIVE PLAINTIFF CHIEF MARTEL SPEAKS ABOUT
OUR TIME TO HEAL

Tomorrow, we will receive the long-awaited decision about Canada’s liability in the Sixties Scoop case from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

Chief Marcia Martel (Brown), the representative Plaintiff in Brown v Canada, will be part of the ceremonial sharing of that decision likely between 1-3pm, soon after the decision is released. Please visit this page tomorrow morning for an exact time.

The ceremony will be live-streamed from the Native Child and Family Services in Toronto, Canada and can be viewed by clicking here.

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DECISION- FEBRUARY 14, 2017

We will post the decision on this website.

Thank you.

– Ontario Sixties Scoop Steering Committee

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Minister Seeks Reconciliation, While Government Seeks to Block Judgement

TORONTO, February 7, 2017— “Today, in an unprecedented legal maneuver, the Government of Canada sought to block the court from delivering a verdict on liability next week in the Ontario Sixties Scoop case.  Canada’s request to suspend judgement comes just one week before the court is expected to deliver its decision and eight years, almost to the day, after the case was launched.

“Canada’s lawyers are citing Minister Carolyn Bennett’s recent announcement regarding a pan-Canadian settlement as justification for this request. We fail to comprehend that reasoning.  Negotiations for a pan-Canadian settlement of all Sixties Scoop claims can certainly take place concurrently or following the court’s decision on liability.  Indeed, we look forward to working with the Minister and bringing forward meaningful recommendations on how to move forward together in the spirit of reconciliation.

“The government’s actions today, however, fly in the face of that spirit. This truly astonishing action leaves us with three questions:

  • Does the government truly think it fair and reasonable to ask Sixties Scoop survivors to abandon their quest for justice just days before the court makes its decision?
  • Just days ago government lawyers were arguing that Canada bears no responsibility for protecting the cultural identities of Indigenous children. Does the government maintain this position?
  • The government has been spending time and resources litigating this case for close to a decade. Why is it suddenly trying to block the court from delivering its judgement?

“Ontario Sixties Scoop survivors  ought not to be re-traumatized by a government that says one thing and does another. Is it because they are First Nations’ people that the government believes they are not entitled to a decision from the Courts of Justice?  Is this the legacy of compassion this government intends for Canadians?”

The Sixties Scoop Case by the Numbers

Litigation Negotiation
·         8:  # of years the case has been in process. Initial pleadings in the case were issued February 9, 2009

·         8: # of times the government has attempted to have the case thrown out

·         16+: # of times that the federal government has attempted to have the case adjourned

·         9+: # of lawyers that the federal government has had working on this case

·         3 # of lawyers Plaintiff has had working on the case

·         20,000: # of pages of documentary evidence the government has submitted to support its arguments against the claim in the last 18 months

·         $2 millon+: amount that this has cost Canadian taxpayers for the costs of the government’s opposition to the case over the last 8 years

·         $166,500:  total amount awarded to the Plaintiff, to date, to cover their costs. Canada was ordered to pay these costs

·         66: # of pages of legal argument submitted by the Crown to argue, for the 8th time, that the case should be thrown out. These were submitted after the Minister made her February 1, 2017 statement about a “dark chapter” in Canadian history and wanting to end the litigation.

·         0: # times the government has made a proposal for resolution

 

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