Edmonton Sixties Scoop survivors disappointed in federal hearing

As a federal hearing over a proposed $875 million Sixties Scoop Settlement played out in Saskatoon on Friday, survivors from the Edmonton area were disappointed when they tuned in via video satellite.

On the second day of the two–day hearing, almost a dozen Sixties Scoop survivors sat in a federal court room watching the hearing and voicing their opinions as they watched.

The Sixties Scoop refers to a time in Canadian history when thousands of First Nations and Métis children were apprehended by child welfare authorities and placed in the care of non-Indigenous families.

On Friday, lawyers and a federal court judge spent half of the day in a continuous discussion over the $75 million in legal fees, which is included in the proposed settlement.

In the proposed settlement, survivors could get a maximum of $50,000.

“It’s the first time we’ve been able to have a voice. The lawyers are talking about all of these millions and when it pertains to us, they’re only talking about thousands. I just don’t understand that,” said Judith Gale, a Sixties Scoop survivor.

Gale was born as her mother’s tenth child on the Salt River First Nation near Fort Smith, N.W.T. She was taken from her mother as a baby, and remained in government care until she was adopted by a family in Montreal.

On Thursday, she testified as a survivor on satellite TV from a federal court room in Edmonton.

“Nobody had ever asked me my opinion and this is something that has affected my life,” Gale said.

“I just wanted to pay homage to the poor parents that had their children ripped from their arms.”

Adam North Peigan, president of the Sixties Scoop Indigenous Society of Alberta, was frustrated as he watched the second day of the Sixties Scoop settlement federal hearing. (Travis McEwan/CBC)

Adam North Peigan, a survivor and president of the Sixties Scoop Indigenous Society of Alberta, watched the legal discussions of the proposed settlement with frustration on Friday. He wanted the hearing to focus on survivor testimony. The federal judge gave them a time limit of three minutes to speak

“It’s taking away from the survivors from doing what they need to do,” North Peigan said.

He’s glad the legal fees were a topic of the hearing because he feels the fees take money that could go to survivors.

“Let’s say more than 20,000 survivors come forward and make an application, you could make far less than $25,000,” he said. “What I’ve been hearing from a lot of survivors in Alberta and across Canada is that they’re not happy with it.”

But he’s caught in a tough spot, because if this deal isn’t accepted, he worries about how long it will take to get another one done.

“If we wait two more decades, there’s going to be that many more [survivors] who may not be here to actually see any type of reconciliation whatsoever,” North Peigan said.

A similar hearing is expected in Toronto on May 29 before a ruling on the approval of the settlement.

Travis.mcewan@cbc.ca

@Travismcewancbc



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Originally posted 2018-05-11 20:48:52. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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