Statement - Minister Bennett Announces Launch of Negotiations Towards National Resolution to Sixties Scoop Litigation

OTTAWA, Feb. 1, 2017 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, made the following statement:

"I am pleased to announce an important step in Canada's journey of reconciliation with Indigenous peoples: Our government will launch negotiations towards a national resolution to Sixties Scoop litigation.

The Sixties Scoop is a dark and painful chapter in Canada's history. Beginning in the 1960s, Indigenous children were removed from their homes by child welfare authorities and many were placed in foster care or adopted out to non-Indigenous families. A number of Sixties Scoop class actions are now underway.

Over the last several months, I have been working with my officials and Cabinet colleagues to get this process in place to resolve these claims in a compassionate, respectful and fair manner, as a way forward towards reconciliation and healing.  Several parties have already expressed their desire to participate in the discussions, and we hope all parties will participate in the efforts towards negotiating an Agreement-in-Principle to resolve Sixties Scoop litigation.  

Negotiation, rather than litigation is our government's preferred route to settle differences, and right historical wrongs. This commitment is demonstrated by the settlement of the Anderson class actions and the recent appointment of Tom Isaac to lead the exploratory discussions in the Gottfriedson class action.

As the Prime Minister has said, no relationship is more important to him and to Canada than the one with Indigenous peoples. We are deeply committed to advancing reconciliation and renewing, on a nation-to-nation, Crown-to-Inuit and government-to-government basis, the relationship with Indigenous peoples based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership.

As we renew this most important relationship, we are committed to furthering the vital work of reconciliation as outlined in the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which contained specific references to the claims of individuals left out of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement. This work of reconciliation is not just for government, but for all Canadians. The Government of Canada can confirm that as of this month, progress is underway on 41 of the Calls to Action that are under federal purview. As work continues, this number will continue to grow.

True and lasting reconciliation cannot be achieved through any one single settlement. The federal government's relationship with Indigenous people has been filled with too much tragedy, especially related to the treatment of children. We look forward to working together to arrive at a constructive, national resolution to the painful legacy of the Sixties Scoop, outside the court process."

This statement is also available on the Internet at www.aandc.gc.ca.

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SOURCE Government of Canada

To view this news release in HTML formatting, please use the following URL: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/February2017/01/c7651.html

For further information: Sabrina Williams, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, 613-697-8316; Media Relations, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, 819-953-1160


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