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
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.