Government To Settle With “Sixties Scoop” Survivors

Government To Settle With “Sixties Scoop” Survivors

UPDATED October 6, 2017 1:01pmET


The federal government will pay up to $800 million to Indigenous Canadians removed from their homes as children and placed with non-Indigenous families over several decades — the “Sixties Scoop.”

Chief Marcia Brown Martel, of Beaverhouse First Nation in northern Ontario, appeared on Parliament Hill this morning with Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett to help announce an agreement-in-principle:

Watch the full news conference:

The settlement applies to status Indians and Inuit removed from their homes (both on- and off-reserve) between 1951 and 1991.

According to Martel and the group of survivors who pursued a class-action lawsuit in Ontario:

The Government of Canada will pay between $500 and $800 million in restitution. At least $50 million of this sum will serve as the endowment for a new Indigenous Healing Foundation to be established this fall.

Up to a total of $750 million will be used for individual compensation, structured as follows:

  • If there are more than 20,000 claimants, each will receive $25,000 in compensation, to a maximum of $750 million.
  • If there are fewer than 20,000 claimants, each will receive $50,000 (maximum) in compensation, to a maximum of $500 million.
  • If there are remaining funds after individual compensation has been paid out, that money will be used to top up the foundation’s endowment.
  • If 25,000 survivors come forward, each will receive $25,000. In this case, the total individual compensation will be $625 million. The foundation would then receive top-up funding of the remainder of the $750 million, equalling $125 million.
  • If 8,000 survivors come forward, each will receive $50,000. In this case, the total individual compensation would be $400 million. The foundation would then receive top-up funding of the remainder of the $500 million, equalling $100 million.

The costs for the four legal teams involved in the agreement will be paid for separately by the government, not out of the claimants’ award, and will be set at 15% of the minimum government payout.

The Ontario class-action suit had a compensation hearing scheduled for Oct. 11, following a February ruling that the federal government was liable for Ontario survivors who were on-reserve from 1965 to 1984.

That hearing was adjourned to allow the broader settlement to take shape, with continued calls for reparations.

The settlement is expected to be finalized by the end of 2017, with court approval by next spring, according to Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada.

-Andrew Thomson

TOP PHOTO ILLUSTRATION: Sixties Scoop survivors and supporters outside a Toronto courthouse in August 2016. The Canadian Press/Michelle Siu