OTTAWA, Aug. 23, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - After seven years of delays, the long-awaited Ontario Sixties Scoop class action is set to commence today in Toronto. Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde has expressed his solidarity for survivors of the Ontario Sixties Scoop experience, which saw more than 16,000 innocent Indigenous children forcibly removed from their homes and communities and placed in many cases with non-Indigenous families.
"Today I stand with the survivors of the Ontario Sixties Scoop as they fight for justice and acknowledgement after decades of heartache," said AFN National Chief Bellegarde. "Survivors of the Sixties Scoop deserve just resolution and restitution without further delay. The federal government said recently that they would prefer to resolve this issue outside the courtroom. If they are serious then they should work with survivors of the Sixties Scoop to get a respectful, acceptable process in place. We support the survivors of the Ontario Sixties Scoop in whatever approach they pursue. This work is essential to reconciliation."
The Ontario Sixties Scoop resulted in devastating loss of language, spirituality and traditions essential to First Nations culture and identity. Today in Toronto, a Superior Court will begin hearing arguments in a summary judgment proceeding, in which the plaintiffs attempt to prove that there is enough evidence to forego a trial and prove that Canada had a legal obligation to ensure that Indigenous children removed from their homes retain their cultural identity and heritage.
The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing First Nation citizens in Canada. Follow AFN on Twitter @AFN_Comms, @AFN_Updates.
SOURCE Assembly of First Nations