On Sept. 15, after 13 years of delay and a protracted battle, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal agreed with the First Nations plaintiffs that the federal government had been “wilful and reckless” with First Nations children who suffered racial discrimination since 2006, including being unnecessarily separated from their families.
This case was to seek compensation for children affected in the continuation of the Sixties Scoop where Indigenous children were taken from their families and placed in non-Indigenous foster homes.The government had 30 days to appeal the ruling, so on Oct. 15, during an election campaign, the federal government appealed the decision.
If the Liberals want to know why their vote dropped in Indian country in the last election, they only have to look at the decision to appeal this case. When the announcement came out, the air went out of any Liberal momentum in Indian country. The tribunal ordered the federal government to provide compensation of up to $40,000 to First Nations children who were unnecessarily taken into care on or after Jan. 1, 2006.
Every so often, our colonial reality pokes through the surface and people wonder how such a thing could happen. Part of the blame can be laid at the feet of the government in power, but most of all it’s driven from within the civil service.
Human-rights tribunal critical of Ottawa for actions in child welfare case