Federal court judge approves Sixties Scoop settlement - APTN NewsAPTN News

Federal court judge approves Sixties Scoop settlement

Brittany Hobson

After two days of hearings for the proposed $875-million Sixties Scoop settlement a Federal Court Judge has approved agreement-in-principle.

The decision came early Friday evening.

Judge Michel Shore told the court he would provide a more detailed decision at a later date.

After two days of hearings, many survivors say they felt dissatisfied with the process.

Despite nearly 200 survivors filling a makeshift courtroom in a downtown Saskatoon hotel, only roughly 30 men and women got to voice their objections on Thursday.

The hearings were scheduled for two days, but survivors found out Shore would only listen to their objections for one day.

“It was supposed to be two days and then we were told [Thursday] it’s only one day,” said survivor Coleen Rajotte. “Today they’re hearing arguments around the $75-million fees around the lawyers.

“So, today is a day for the lawyers… this is not a day for survivors.”

Coleen Rajotte outside the hearings. Photo: Brittany Hobson/APTN

Coleen Rajotte outside the hearings. Photo: Brittany Hobson/APTN

On Friday Shore heard from some of the law firms included in the settlement as well as other law firms objecting it.

One of the four law firms included in the settlement argued $75-million was a reasonable amount – even about 20 per cent less than what law firms have received in other class-action lawsuits.

Rajotte drove from Winnipeg to voice her objections.

Since March she has been working with a group of survivors in Manitoba to object to the settlement.

The group has travelled to First Nations in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta and spoke with dozens of survivors.

She says she was disappointed to learn survivors were given a time limit to speak.

Shore told the crowd they had three minutes to voice their objections.

“This is our first opportunity to appear in a courtroom setting where a judge is presiding over the objections, and you would think he would want to know a little bit about our stories,” said Rajotte.

Shore warned survivors if personal stories were included he would have to interrupt because they did not relate to the settlement at hand.

In his opening statement on Friday, Shore sympathized with survivors but said, “this wasn’t the venue to tell your stories. Your stories should be told for hours and for days.”

He touted the proposed $50-millon healing foundation as the place to share stories. The foundation is included as part of the agreement-in-principle put forth by the federal government last October.

The $875-million settlement would see a maximum of $750-million for individual survivors plus $50-million for a healing foundation and another $75-million for lawyer fees.

Not included in the settlement are the Metis people and non-status Aboriginals.

Robert Doucette is a Metis Sixties Scoop survivor and has been vocal about the exclusion of the Metis people in the settlement.

He says the hearings have re-traumatized him and left him with little faith survivors concerns have been taken seriously.

“It’s sad how we’ve been treated in the last 50-60 years and it’s sad how we’ve been treated today,” said Doucette.

“It’s my prediction that they’re just going to ram this agreement through. They had made up their mind already.”

For Rajotte, the hearings brought back memories of being scooped as a child.

“We weren’t consulted so everything is set up in basically the colonizers way,” she said.

“And once again we were being told what to do.”



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3 Responses to “Federal court judge approves Sixties Scoop settlement”

  1. Scavuzzojames@gmail.com'
    James May 14, 2018 at 1:05 pm #

    This “Settlement “ is a joke… only the lawyers are winning. Survivors like my wife are being subjected to the trauma they were forced to experience as children. Many indigenous peoples have taken their own lives wither by accident or on purpose because of the injuries caused by the Canadian Government. The current government knows exactly who was in the “program “ of that time, yet everyone is having to prove they qualify for this excuse of a settlement. Here’s a thought for you Canada, the government broke its own laws and ripped families apart…. SELLING citizens to other countries. These people the true FIRST CANADIANS…. are being GIVEN this “Settlement “ of $50,000 as a Formal Appalougy for the pain and suffering of the people. I just witnessed the reunion of a brother and sister… this reunion took 47 years to happen… they last saw each other as three adults tore them apart as they tried to hold on to each other for safety. Now we are saying that they deserve $1063.83 PER YEAR ($50,000) in this case. My wife was place in “Care” were as a five year old little girl she was forced to cut her hair… she was repeatedly raped by one of her caregivers. She was sent (sold) to a family in the USA where she was often reminded that she was owned.. that they paid for her and that she was to do what she was told. She was hit for speaking the only language she knew which was her native tongue. And our “Justice System “ is being paid $75 million dollars for what??? Bringing the CRIMES caused by the law makers and the Government of the day??? This Government ran this program for Ten Years!!!!! So here’s a thought for all the parents of Canada… look into the eyes of your children feel the love to have all the happiness in your heart…. now there might be a knock at the door or someone just shows up at your child’s school and takes your child because they say you are unfit or unworthy to care for them. That the Government knows what is best not only for your child but for all the children of this culture. Most of these parents are no longer with us…. so to the children the Government is saying “Take your allowance “ and run along. This is the JOKE…. Where is the help for these survivors????

  2. mcorg@hotmail.com'
    allan May 13, 2018 at 1:18 am #

    Seems like those who managed to lawyer-up pretty good did well off this decision, along with the traditional Canadian government approach of cut and divide to lessen any long term commitments.
    You’ve been railroaded, rushed through a process that ought to have taken days and, if you’re non-status or Metis, well guess what…..?

    That the crown and it’s loyal officers of the court felt entitled to spend a day discussing a lone item, compensation, while stampeding dozens of older individuals into three minute time slots, in my estimation, is about the cheapest insult I have ever witnessed in a federal process involving other Canadians. I am embarrassed.

    The issue of this entire process has been to deal with the impact of the “Scoop” on so many individuals, yet, when it came time to cut to the chase, it was the impacted who were chased away from giving their story.

  3. Rafireysam@hotmail.com'
    Rand May 12, 2018 at 4:26 pm #

    Lawyer are going to make and endorse many more big mistakes then turn around admit it’s wrong get twice the pay and then …go make more circlar mistakes…it’s never about the victims…