OTTAWA — This week, a group of people taken up in the Sixties Scoop, who have not joined any class-action lawsuit, panned the October compensation package.
"We feel that this agreement is unfair, unreasonable and not in the best interest of '60s Scoop survivors," Duane Morrisseau-Beck, co-director of the National Indigenous Survivors of Child Welfare Network, told reporters.
The Métis man was taken from a hospital near Dauphin months after his October 1968 birth, and put up for adoption in The Pas. Catholic hospital staff had persuaded his mother to sign away her parental rights because she was a teenager, and his father didn’t have a job. He blames the trauma for his addictions and HIV.
NISCWN is organizing rallies across Canada on March 16 to demand more people be included in a compensation package. Morrisseau-Beck himself is mulling filing his own lawsuit.
Federal government sources have told the Free Press that Métis people were almost exclusively taken from their families by provincial social workers, limiting Ottawa’s responsibility. Bennett’s office has said she still feels Ottawa as complicit in these actions, and that the government would have to work with provinces for a fair settlement.
“The Government is interested in working with all parties – provinces, territories, Métis leadership, plaintiffs and their counsel – to work towards resolving the litigation outside of the courts,” wrote spokeswoman Sabrina Williams.
She added that NISCWN representatives have been invited to meetings on the planned foundation, but have declined so far.
In November, in response to a question about whether the Pallister government would consider voluntarily compensating Métis people for Manitoba’s role in the Sixties Scoop, the province said no lawsuit has been filed against it. In June 2015, the Manitoba government apologized for its role in the Sixties Scoop.