After a weekend of digesting a multi-million dollar compensation package, an organization representing Sixties Scoop adoptees says its disappointed Metis survivors were left out of the package.
“I’m very disappointed that an inclusive agreement couldn’t be reached,” said Duane Morrisseau-Beck, a Metis adoptee. “So this historic moment meant something to all Sixties Scoop survivors.”
Last Friday, the federal government announced an $800 million settlement.
But it left out Metis survivors.
“I began to feel the dark feeling in the pit of my stomach. Was it true? Had they left out my nation, the Metis nation,” said Morrisseau-Beck.
Non-status survivors were also left out of the compensation package.
According to lawyers for the Ontario class action suit, Metis were excluded because they were not specifically identified during the time in question.
That didn’t stop people commenting on social media about the snub.
“I was looking forward to the compansation (sic) and a little bit of closure,” wrote Vivian Fleury. “But now I’m shot down again, this is wrong…we’re people with feelings and we were wrongly denied what’s owed to us… I feel like I’m being pulled through the dirt.”
Metis Elder and author Maria Campbell recalled the time when her siblings were scooped in her post.
“I will forever see their little faces pressed to the window of the car as they were driven away,” she wrote. “I don’t know where that kind of evil comes from but I saw and felt it again as I heard and I watched Minister Bennet as she cried and spoke of the pain.
“What would she know about pain! Her announcement made my siblings and all Metis and Non- Status children invisible and not worthwhile.”
The other question on people’s minds a few days after the announcement is how the compensation number, $35 thousand to $50 thousand, was arrived at.
“I’m disappointed in the number being so low,” wrote Child Welfare Network co-founder Colleen Cardinal. “At this point, I don’t know what number would make me happy.
“But I feel it’s a pretty low ball offer considering what we have lost. And compared to other class action lawsuits, it’s a drop in the bucket.”
Morrisseau-Beck said the silver lining is the $50 million for a healing foundation.
“We want a physical space,” said Morrisseau-Beck. “We want a place where we can actually have these places where adoptees can come in and get services if they need to with…we have a vision of it anyway.”
Friday’s settlement was just an agreement in principle.
The details still need to be worked out and approved by a court.
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