Toronto, Ontario, February 15, 2017 – Recently Superior Court Justice Edward Belobaba ruled in a class-action lawsuit in favor of the 16,000 survivors of what is called ‘The 60’s Scoop’  From 1965 to 1984 aboriginal children were taken away and placed in non-indigenous care with no chance at having a proper cultural identity.

It was the duty of the government that any indigenous children keep their cultural identity if they were raised off-reserve in non-indigenous care between 1965 to 1984.  The failure of the government to maintain this cultural identity from those affected have resulted in psychological harm, loss of aboriginal identity, substance abuse and numerous suicides.  The original intent was to seek damages in the amount of $1.3 billion on behalf of the Indigenous Children of Ontario that were taken during ‘The 60’s Scoop’.  The decision made in their favor paves the way for an assessment of damages the government will now have to pay.

The Judge did not go far enough in his ruling by identifying it as a common-law breach when it should have been a fiduciary breach.  This remains a victory for those taken in ‘The ‘60s Scoop’.

Yet, today we still lose too many of our young people that wind up in the provincial system with many ending up in non-indigenous care.  Until we exercise jurisdiction over our families and our children the fight is still not over.” – A.I.A.I. Grand Chief Gord Peters

A.I.A.I Deputy Grand Chief Denise Stonefish adds “Even though this eight year court battle has resulted in an award of $1.3 billion, it also confirms the colonialistic mindset in the forced removal of First Nations’ children through adoption.  While there will be no amount of money that will reconnect all children (now adults) with their roots, their culture, their language their families, this award will ensure that their children and grandchildren will have their cultural identity protected”