NAN STATEMENT ON SIXTIES SCOOP CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT
THUNDER BAY, ON (February 2, 2017): Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Deputy Grand Chief Anna Betty Achneepineskum acknowledged a commitment yesterday from the Government of Canada to seek a negotiated settlement in the Sixties Scoop class action lawsuit:
“We are pleased that Indigenous and Northern Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett recognized in the House of Commons that the Sixties Scoop was a ‘dark and painful chapter’ in Canada’s history, and that the resolution of this landmark case is an important step towards reconciliation. The pursuit of justice for Chief Marcia Brown Martel and all of the plaintiffs has been a long and difficult process. These Survivors have shown tremendous courage presenting their cases in court and negotiation, as opposed to litigation, will spare them more undue grief and anguish. The scars of the Sixties Scoop can never be erased but we look to the Government of Canada to move forward in the spirit of reconciliation to resolve these cases in a respectful and honourable manner.”
Between 1965 and 1985 an estimated 16,000 Aboriginal children in Ontario, including members of NAN First Nations, were removed from their homes and placed in other (mostly non-native) communities. An entire generation lost its Aboriginal identity and culture through what is known as the Sixties Scoop.
The class action was launched in 2009 by Marcia Brown Martel (now Chief of Beaverhouse First Nation) and Robert Commanda. In 2014, a unanimous decision by the Ontario Superior Court dismissed an appeal by the Government of Canada allowing this landmark case on the deprivation of cultural identity to proceed as a class action lawsuit.
For more information please contact: Tamara Piche, Communications Officer – Nishnawbe Aski Nation (807) 625-4906 or cell (807) 621-5549 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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