We invited lead lawyer Jeffery Wilson to clarify questions being asked. We set out the questions and Jeffery’s answers:

  1. Question: Can I still sue the children’s aid societies and the Ontario government for the harm I experienced as an foster child, crown ward or adopted child.

Answer: Yes, you can do that.

This case and your participation in the settlement means you cannot sue Canada (the Federal Government). Canada would not have legal responsibility for physical or sexual harm experienced when you were in care. Canada’s liability, because of this case, is limited to Canada’s failure to inform you and your caregivers of your First Nations’ cultural identity and benefits to which you would have been entitled.

However,  you can still sue the province and the government institution (namely, the children’s aid society) responsible for removing you from your home.

  1. Question: Is the settlement amount for the compensation better or worse than had we gone to court on October 11, 2017 before the Honourable Justice Belobaba?

Answer: Better, much better. Here are 9 reasons why:

 i) This settlement is Canada-wide. Brown v Canada is Ontario-wide.

ii) This settlement includes crown wards. Brown v Canada is limited to adopted children.

iii) This settlement includes long-term temporary wards. Brown v Canada is limited to adopted children.

iv) This settlement includes claimants from 1951 – 1991. Brown v Canada is limited to 1965-1984.

v) This settlement includes Inuit children. Brown v Canada is limited to “Indian” survivors.

vi) This settlement includes “Indians” living on and off of reserves. Brown v Canada is limited to “Indians” living on reserves.

vii) This settlement will definitely enable payment in a much shorter period of time than if we proceeded to court.

viii) This settlement may result in payments of $50,000 per claimant. We predicted that we would not have secured this much per claimant had we proceeded to Court.

ix) This settlement includes an initial payment of at least 50 million dollars for a Foundation to provide healing opportunities for the survivors and to take advocacy steps to stop, once and for all, the removal of any Indigenous child in Canada from their families and communities. This was not an outcome we could have achieved in court.

  1. Question: What about $25,000-$50,000? That doesn’t seem very much for someone who lost their cultural identity?

AnswerYou’re right. It isn’t very much. There is no amount of money that could replace what you have lost or that could make up for what you suffered.

I lost both my parents at a young age and received $25,000 from their estate. It didn’t replace them and it didn’t make me whole—so I understand why this seems like “not enough.” There is no “enough.” I know someone wrote in and said “it should be a hundred thousand dollars.” Maybe, it should be more. But, no court would have ever ordered anything close to $100,000! We negotiated against the backdrop of what we could realistically get from the court, applying western law. Like any other case, this one is the beginning, the first step.  

And while this settlement cannot give you back what you deserve or what you have lost, it can make a very big difference. It  is symbolic and shows that cultural identity will now be something that courts have to consider, and measure in all cases from this point forward. Because of you, the law must now recognize that “saving the child” means keeping him or her with  family, or extended family or her or his community.

Loss of cultural identity is a collective loss. That means we have to consider the total of what we have achieved, and not simply the amount per claimant.

  1. Question: This Foundation, who will run it, and can I be part of it?

Answer: First Nations people will run it if they come forward and demand that they run it. I am the acting chairperson of the Working Committee for the Foundation. If you want to be part of it, send me an email at jeffery@wilsonchristen.com

  1. What will the Foundation do?  How will I benefit from it?

Answer: The Foundation’s mandate will be shaped by those who come forward to lead it. But the intent is that it will support advocacy efforts to protect First Nations children and offer support for healing and counselling services to those who need it.  Don’t think of it as a “physical place” but rather as a country-wide resource for all survivors.  No matter where you live in the country, the Foundation’s support and resources will be available to you. 

  1. Question: Why are Métis not part of the deal?

Answer: They are part of the deal insofar as they are part of the people to be served and helped by the Foundation. They are not part of the individual compensation entitlement because there are no records to properly identity Métis for the purpose of this settlement.

However, the settlement does not preclude Métis people from suing a provincial or federal government, or provincial organization (like the CAS) if they choose to do so in the future.

  1. Question: When will we get our money and how much of it will go to lawyers?

Answer:  None of it will go to lawyers as long as  you use the 4 law firms who helped the government negotiate this deal. In B.C. call David Klein, in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, call Kirk Baert, in Alberta, Yukon, and the Prairie provinces, call Tony Merchant. In Ontario, call Wilson Christen LLP. All of these lawyers have legally agreed (as part of the settlement)  to charge nothing to any sixties scoop survivor needing help to file a claim.

If I have my way, you shouldn’t need a lawyer to file your claim. It should be a simple exercise, one or two page form. The form is being created by the Federal Government. Once, it is created and released to the public we’re hoping six months for receipt of payments but understand that there has to be a notice period paid for by Canada and notice to people not only in Canada but in the USA and overseas, and that has to happen first. We have to do our best to make sure that everyone, who is entitled to receive money or be assisted by the Foundation, knows about it. Once the form is finalized it will posted on our website. Please continue to monitor our website for updates on the form and process.

  1. Question: When will one be able to apply for compensation and how do you do that? 

    Answer: We are still working that process out. Our objective is to make the application process as simple as possible, not like the residential schools’ compensation process. To prepare for your application, you can take steps to obtain your records from the Children’s Aid Society that took you away. Specifically, you should request the court orders. Sign a direction or consent for the records to be released to you. Do this immediately. Make the request in writing to the director of the Children’s Aid Society, or go to your Band Office or Band First Nations’ Child and Family Services for help in asking for your records. You have a right to those records. Anyone who tells you differently is wrong.

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About Sixties Scoop Lawsuit

The purpose of this site is to notify individuals directly or indirectly affected by the Sixties Scoop that they may register and possibly join in the class action lawsuit that is effectively proceeding against the Canadian Government. (October 2010) Please bookmark this site for further updates and registration information. Thank you.
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2 Responses to

  1. Cathy Henderson says:

    Could you please ask for the following to be included in the settlement. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child makes it clear that it is the Federal government’s *legal* duty to enforce this convention in the provinces when the provinces refuse to do so. The provinces have illegally denied adoptees their legal rights with regards to their birth records which violates this UN Convention. Records need to be put right. Many adoptees have been denied information because their parents were denied the *legal* right under provincial law to put that information on the birth documents in the first place as well as those documents being illegally tampered with by the province. Incorrect information must be removed. Correct information must be added. These are needed for family reunions, ancestry, heritage, culture, healing and reconciliation as well as justice.

    Here is what needs to be done.

    Please ensure that the adoption records are opened in PEI, Nova Scotia and Quebec. The rest of the country has opened adoption records and this anomaly must be rectified. It is discrimination simply on the grounds of where the adoption took place in the country. Closed records provinces even have the power of veto over open records provinces which is not right. For example, if an adoptee is born in Ontario but is adopted in Quebec, Quebec can stop the adoptee from having their original birth reg from Ontario. This happens a lot. The only way to stop this is to open all adoption records in the closed adoption provinces. The UN says you must do whatever it takes to remove this discrimination.

    Please ensure that father’s names are restored back on adoptees’ original birth reg. Many fathers were *illegally* wiped out or omitted from these birth reg. Fathers were lied to about their rights – many were wrongly told that they had to be at the birth to be named.There has never been a requirement under Ontario law for the father to attend the birth of their child to be named. That is still the case.

    Registration of the birth is a *separate* issue to putting the father’s name on the birth registration. Under Ontario law from 1960 onwards, fathers were allowed to be named *after* the registration of the birth and to have their names added afterwards to the original birth registration and to have this done regardless of the marital status of the father. The Ontario government consistently lied to parents about this legal right.

    Many parents were *illegally* prevented from naming the father in the first place.

    Fathers had the right to be put on the birth registration even after the birth was registered yet they were *illegally* denied this too, especially in Ontario. The UN has asked the Federal government 3 TIMES ensure that the provinces restore these names when both parents have named the father in paperwork such as paternity statements or from parents who want to make notarized statements. The UN has made it clear that adoption cannot be used as an excuse to prevent people from doing this.

    Please annul false death records. Many parents were lied to. Many were told that their child was dead when this was not true.

    Order provinces to cross reference death records and adoption records to find the living. Dead children cannot be adopted. Families have the right to know that their children are alive.

    Please tell CAS and other government agencies to correct their records, especially with regards to info on ancestry. Many Indigenous adoptees were told that they were not Indigenous. In fact, many were told that they were Italian, etc. to stop them finding their families. This is unacceptable. Everyone should be allowed to have the correct info about themselves and to put right any incorrect info on their records – otherwise, what is the point of having records if they are full of lies?

    The above must be made available to all adoptees, both Indigenous and non-indigenous, so as not to miss anyone out that maybe indigenous but also because many of these *criminal* acts were inflicted on other adoptees as well. Otherwise, that would be discrimination which is also unacceptable.

    Please put this forward. The UN is fed up of asking and people are fed up of being denied these rights enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child which also applies to all adoptees.
    This is needed for reconciliation, healing, family reunion, heritage and culture.

    To do nothing about this is to endorse continuing genocide by illegally erasing people on paper which is completely unacceptable. Please keep everyone posted on this important term of settlement. The UN says that nothing less will do.

    These rights are going to be reviewed again in July when Canada is reviewed by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child Committee. I have been asked to make a report for this by the UN committee.

    I want to be able to tell them that the above has been accomplished. Please make it so.

  2. Cathy Henderson says:

    There should also be something done about missing records. Too many original birth registrations are missing from records offices (many seemed to have been destroyed in mysterious fires that themselves do not seem to have been recorded anywhere).

    The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child says that everyone has the right to a birth registration from birth. This clearly is not happening in Canada. Steps should be taken to ensure that people get birth registrations created when these are missing from records offices and to restore these in any way by using other records such as CAS records, school records, church records, etc. to recreate these missing records.

    It also means that provinces should be made to save these digitally and separately from the originals so that there are copies that won’t be destroyed by mysterious, unreported fires.

    It is also unacceptable that people are being told that their birth records are simply “lost”.
    This is incompetence and negligence. All efforts must be made to recreate birth records from other sources of information such as CAS records, foster records, school records., etc.

    Again, I will be making a progress report to the UN on that. I hope that I will have something positive to tell them next year. Please make the Federal and provincial governments aware that the rest of the world is watching this very closely and excuses to deny people their birth rights will not be tolerated.

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