Feds to an­nounce ’60s Scoop pay­out

Northern News (Kirkland Lake) - - NATIONAL NEWS - COLIN PERKEL

TORONTO — The fed­eral gov­ern­ment has agreed to pay hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars to sur­vivors of the ’60s Scoop for the harm suf­fered by In­dige­nous chil­dren who were robbed of their cul­tural iden­ti­ties by be­ing placed with non-na­tive fam­i­lies, The Cana­dian Press has learned.

The na­tional set­tle­ment with an es­ti­mated 20,000 vic­tims, to be an­nounced Fri­day by CrownIndige­nous Re­la­tions Min­is­ter Carolyn Ben­nett, is aimed at re­solv­ing nu­mer­ous re­lated law­suits, most no­table among them a suc­cess­ful class ac­tion in On­tario.

Con­fi­den­tial de­tails of the agree­ment in­clude a pay­out of be­tween $25,000 and $50,000 for each claimant, to a max­i­mum of $750 mil­lion, sources said.

In ad­di­tion, sources fa­mil­iar with the deal said the gov­ern­ment would set aside a fur­ther $50 mil­lion for a new In­dige­nous Heal­ing Foun­da­tion, a key de­mand of the rep­re­sen­ta­tive plain­tiff in On­tario, Mar­cia Brown Mar­tel.

Spokes­peo­ple for both Ben­nett and the plain­tiffs would only con­firm an an­nounce­ment was pend­ing Fri­day, but re­fused to elab­o­rate.

“The (par­ties) have agreed to work to­wards a com­pre­hen­sive res­o­lu­tion and dis­cus­sions are in progress,” Ben­nett’s of­fice said in a state­ment on Thurs­day. “As the ne­go­ti­a­tions are on­go­ing and con­fi­den­tial, we can­not pro­vide fur­ther in­for­ma­tion at this time.”

The sources said the gov­ern­ment has also agreed to pay the plain­tiffs’ le­gal fees — es­ti­mated at about $75 mil­lion — separately, mean­ing the full amount of the set­tle­ment will go to the vic­tims and the heal­ing cen­tre, to be es­tab­lished in the com­ing months, sources said.

The set­tle­ment would be worth at least $800 mil­lion and in­clude Inuit vic­tims, the sources said. The fi­nal amount is less than the $1.3 bil­lion Brown Mar­tel had sought for vic­tims of the On­tario Scoop in which at-risk on-re­serve In­dige­nous chil­dren were placed in non-Abo­rig­i­nal homes from 1965 to 1984 un­der terms of a fed­eral-pro­vin­cial agree­ment. In an un­prece­dented class ac­tion be­gun in 2009, Brown Mar­tel, chief of the Beaver­house First Na­tion, main­tained the gov­ern­ment had been neg­li­gent in pro­tect­ing her and about 16,000 other on-re­serve chil­dren from the last­ing harm they suf­fered from be­ing alien­ated from their her­itage.

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