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Ottawa will meet Métis about compensation on '60s scoop

BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES</p><p>Manitoba Metis Federation president David Chartrand was shocked when Métis people were left out of the $800-million settlement the federal government reached with Indigenous people who were placed in non-Indigenous foster homes when they were children.</p></p>

BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES

Manitoba Metis Federation president David Chartrand was shocked when Métis people were left out of the $800-million settlement the federal government reached with Indigenous people who were placed in non-Indigenous foster homes when they were children.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 5/2/2018 (532 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

OTTAWA — The federal Liberals are reaching out to Métis leaders in the hopes of quelling their outcry after they were excluded from an $800-million settlement last month surrounding the Sixties Scoop.

“It's a good time right now for the government of Canada to sit down and settle these horrific affairs that have occurred to the people, and damaged so many,” said David Chartrand, president of the Manitoba Metis Federation. “Hopefully we can stop it from trickling to the next generation.”

Last October, the federal government announced it would settle as many as 19 lawsuits and compensate Indigenous people who had placed in non-Indigenous foster homes when they were children as far away as New Zealand, often without a reason. It’s estimated thousands of Manitobans were caught up in the Sixties Scoop, which spanned the 1960s to the 1980s.

Carolyn Bennett, the minister for Crown-Indigenous relations, announced the $800-million payout will compensate each survivor from $25,000 to $50,000, and create a new "foundation for healing" aimed at reviving Indigenous languages and cultures, with a separate legal fund.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 5/2/2018 (532 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

OTTAWA — The federal Liberals are reaching out to Métis leaders in the hopes of quelling their outcry after they were excluded from an $800-million settlement last month surrounding the Sixties Scoop.

"It's a good time right now for the government of Canada to sit down and settle these horrific affairs that have occurred to the people, and damaged so many," said David Chartrand, president of the Manitoba Metis Federation. "Hopefully we can stop it from trickling to the next generation."

Last October, the federal government announced it would settle as many as 19 lawsuits and compensate Indigenous people who had placed in non-Indigenous foster homes when they were children as far away as New Zealand, often without a reason. It’s estimated thousands of Manitobans were caught up in the Sixties Scoop, which spanned the 1960s to the 1980s.

Carolyn Bennett, the minister for Crown-Indigenous relations, announced the $800-million payout will compensate each survivor from $25,000 to $50,000, and create a new "foundation for healing" aimed at reviving Indigenous languages and cultures, with a separate legal fund.

But because the existing lawsuits only involved First Nations people, lawyers said Métis people were not part of the settlement.

Before the settlement was announced, Chartrand wrote a lengthy letter to Bennett on Oct. 12, expressing "disillusionment and shock" that Métis people wouldn't be included.

Bennett responded last week, telling Chartrand the Liberals aim to rectify the impacts of the '60s Scoop on Métis people.

In the letter, Bennett proposed "a preliminary discussion about how we can move forward to resolve this important issue and the work that will be needed in order to resolve the litigation."

That discussion would likely be with Chartrand, who is vice-president of the Métis National Council and the national group’s lead on child-welfare issues. The MNC is scheduled to have the first of three meetings this year with the federal Cabinet on Feb. 26, and Chartrand expects them to set parameters on future '60s Scoop talks at that meeting.

Part of their discussion will surround the role of the provinces, who took a larger role in Métis cases than First Nations ones, though Ottawa says it is still liable for what victims endured.

Chartrand, who was previously outraged with the government, said he was "very pleased" with the letter, because Métis people have been reluctant to take up offers by "a whack of lawyers" after seeing some of them "gouging" victims in residential-school compensation cases.

Last week, the former head of the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan filed a legal claim against Bennett, saying the settlement discriminated against Métis people. Robert Doucette was taken from his mother in 1962.

Bennett’s office said the discussions around that case will run parallel to formal talks with Chartrand and Métis Nation leadership.

Chartrand said Doucette has a right to sue, but that Ottawa was smart to keep that separate from talks with Métis leadership.

"It's good the federal government is looking at these issues and putting them to rest so Canada can move ahead […] so the next generation can know that we've dealt with the injustice."

He said the MMF has come across 100 Métis people apprehended from Manitoba homes who live within the province, and roughly 55 of them living in the United States, and he’s aware of more across Canada.

dylan.robertson@freepress.mb.ca

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