Brenda Marks is struggling this week after lawyers representing survivors of a 60s scoop class action lawsuit against the Canadian government are seeking court approval to pay the final $ 4,000 to those who have signed up for the case.
That $ 4,000 will be $ 21,000 in addition to the Class Action members received in 2020.
“It’s like they paid $ 25,000 to get rid of the Indians,” said Marcus, a Ts’kw’aylaxw First Nation interior salisher in Liluet, BC.
During the so-called sixties, people were taken from their community, culture and way of life, and arrangements were made for foster care or adoption elsewhere. Often, they move far away from their home community, and many face abuse and dangerous situations after moving.
“That [$4,000] The camel’s back was broken straw, “Marcus told CTV News. “It’s like a slap in the face. It’s like an insult. I don’t think there’s going to be enough money to replace what we’ve lost, but it feels like more trauma, more abuse. They are always doing it for us. It will never end. “
As of March 2022, a total of 34,770 claims have been made in the case and 20,167 have been approved and 10,662 have been denied, according to the Collectiva site, which monitors the process.
The amount of the settlement, which Marcos calculates based on 57 years of removal from his community, is নেওয়া 1.20 per day taken from his community and culture and forced to live 4,300 kilometers away.
After his mother was violently killed and his father was convicted of his murder, Marquez was adopted by a non-indigenous military family who moved from Kamloops, BC to Longville, Cui. Where they originally came from. She, along with her siblings, was able to reconnect with her birth family, including her father, who acknowledged what she had done to her mother.
“We were very lucky because I met my father,” he said. “I have met all my aunts and uncles. I have met all my siblings. And we are very, very fortunate to be back in our community. “
Brenda Marcoux is one of the lucky survivors of the 60’s scoop who was able to reconnect with her family in her birth community. Source: Brenda Marks
Many were not so fortunate, and some children were taken far away from their community.
Colin Cardinal is the co-founder of the grassroots support group Sixties Scoop Network. A map of the site shows how some people were evacuated from their communities and moved as far away as Denmark, the United Kingdom or Los Angeles.
“It simply came to our notice then. We were taken around the world, “said Cardinal. “So how do you get it back?”
Between 1951 and 1991, Indigenous children were cared for and kept with non-Indigenous families in what became known as the “sixties scoop.” Class Action argues that individuals affected by the program have “suffered significant damage as a result of this practice – particularly loss of their cultural identity,” according to the Collectiva site.
The agreement was agreed in 2018.
A map showing the distance 60s Scoop survivors were forced to leave after being adopted from their community.
The cardinal was at the table when the federal government came up with a settlement number based on the number of eligible victims and the loss of their culture.
“It simply came to our notice then. We don’t think it’s a good solution, but we are kind of forced to accept and tell them that we are going to get the best deal for the loss of this culture that has not even dealt with sexual and physical abuse and trauma, “said Cardinal. “It’s not just a trigger for survivors to remember, it was also a reminder of how low our lives were worth.”
He said those who are lucky enough to be able to reconnect with their birth family often face cultural shocks as they sometimes try to connect with people raised with very different worldviews.
“It depends on where they were taken, how far they were taken and how much they assimilated,” the cardinal said. “We were literally raised and brainwashed to be non-indigenous … sometimes reunification doesn’t work and we are separated from both of our families … some of us have never found our family.”
The cardinal said that some people are involved in offensive situations and trying to escape from the situation, homeless injured or involved in criminal activities.
Many, he added, did not sign up for Class Action Settlement because they could not access the computer, were imprisoned, or hear about it.
“They would say up and down, ‘We did what we could,’ but they didn’t,” the cardinal said. “I have met the minister [Carolyn] Bennett also said, “There are a lot of people who don’t know about the settlement or missed the deadline …” These people live on the streets and face extreme poverty, so those people were left out.
Money is not everything
Marcos says he doesn’t know what a fair amount would be for compensation, but thinks $ 25,000 is not enough and is a way to avoid taking real responsibility for the era.
“It’s a terrible thing they do and I don’t know how they get away with it. I don’t know how it was right,” he said.
The cardinal will first and foremost apologize to the federal government, as has been done by the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.
“It’s not just about apologizing, the government has to apologize for what they did to our family. We are not just survivors, our birth families and our next generation… even our adopted families.
The cardinal wants more than a small payment from the federal government.
“I want to hold some people accountable,” he said. “Whether it was the provincial federal government, people took part in it and people knew about it, and it was literally trafficking of indigenous children through the child welfare system.”