The legacy of the 60s Scoop in La Ronge was apparent at a meeting Thursday, which was attended by more than 150 people seeking compensation for the injustice they experienced.
“It was a legislative program by the federal government to assimilate the native children into mainstream society,” residential school support worker Tom Roberts said. “If they took them away at an early age, they would lose their culture and identity.”
While the gathering was largely meant to share information about what the 60s Scoop was and why it happened, Roberts noted attendees also had the opportunity to apply for compensation as well. Last year, a federal judge granted a $875 million settlement for an estimated 20,000 survivors of the 60s Scoop. He added survivors have until August 2019 to apply for compensation and he expects the first cheques to start arriving in August 2020.
Roberts also mentioned how the 60s Scoop had wide-reaching consequences for First Nations children. He said some were sent to far away places like Europe or the United States and how the federal government made an effort to ensure those children lived with non-native families. The children taken away were led to believe they’re parents didn’t want them, Roberts said, which wasn’t the case.
“They looked like native kids, but they didn’t know they were native because they were raised in a non-native family,” he said.
With Métis citizens being excluded from the 60s Scoop settlement, Roberts is still encouraging them to apply. He said they should be included as well, because many Métis kids were also taken away and lost their culture and identity. The settlement is open to those taken away and put in non-Indigenous foster or adoptive parents between Jan. 1, 1951, and Dec. 31, 1991.
If any Lac La Ronge Indian Band members are interested in learning more about the 60s Scoops or how to apply, they can contact or visit the Health Services Prevent and Recovery department.
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