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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

'60s scoop' survivors back in Toronto court

Plaintiffs say a generation of people lost their Aboriginal identity after being taken from their homes


Beaverhouse First Nation Chief Marcia Brown Martel is back in a Toronto court today to present the '60s Scoop' case concerning the cultural deprivation of Aboriginal people.
Beaverhouse First Nation Chief Marcia Brown Martel is back in a Toronto court July 15 to present the '60s Scoop' case concerning the cultural deprivation of Aboriginal people. (Melanie Ferrier/CBC)
A class action lawsuit filed on the basis that young First Nations people were deprived of their cultural identity was expected to be in the courts on Monday.
Between 1965 and 1985, an estimated 16,000 Aboriginal children in Ontario were removed from their homes and placed in other — mostly non-native — communities in what is called by some “the 60s scoop.”
Chief Marcia Brown-Martel of the Beaverhouse First Nation and Robert Commanda were two of those children taken from their families. They launched an attempt at a class action lawsuit in February 2009.
In May 2010 a judge conditionally granted a motion to certify the action as a class proceeding.
But in December 2011, it was ruled that conditional certification of a class action proceeding should not have been granted.
Brown-Martell and Commanda are expected to present their case before a new judge at the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Toronto.
“I am dismayed that the Government of Canada has taken the position that there is no justifiable claim because its actions were in the best interests of me and 16,000 other children who were taken from our homes and raised far away from our communities without regard for our cultural identity,” said Brown-Martel in a press release issued by the Nishnawbe Aski Nation.
“Canada’s argument that it had no capacity and no obligation to protect our Aboriginal cultural rights is reprehensible [and] is a continuation of the assimilation policies inflicted upon First Nations through the Residential School system.”
A website has been established to help First Nations people register and obtain more information on the class action proceedings.
Brown-Martell and Commanda spoke about the case with CBC’s Superior Morning. Listen to the interview here.

http://www.sixtiesscoopclaim.com

[This interview is tragic, as it explains how parents were forced to give up their children...Trace]

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Indian Country is under attack. Native tribes and people are fighting hard for justice. There is need for legal assistance across Indian Country, and NARF is doing as much as we can. With your help, we have fought for 48 years and we continue to fight.

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Today, we look at recent effort to undo laws put in place to protect Native American children and families. All children deserve to be raised by loving families and communities. In the 1970s, Congress realized that state agencies and courts were disproportionately removing American Indian and Alaska Native children from their families. Often these devastating removals were due to an inability or unwillingness to understand Native cultures, where family is defined broadly and raising children is a shared responsibility. To stop these destructive practices, Congress passed the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA).

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Veronica, we adult adoptees are thinking of you today and every day. We will be here when you need us. Your journey in the adopted life has begun, nothing can revoke that now, the damage cannot be undone. Be courageous, you have what no adoptee before you has had; a strong group of adult adoptees who know your story, who are behind you and will always be so.

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As the single largest unregulated industry in the United States, adoption is viewed as a benevolent action that results in the formation of “forever families.”
The truth is that it is a very lucrative business with a known sales pitch. With profits last estimated at over $1.44 billion dollars a year, mothers who consider adoption for their babies need to be very aware that all of this promotion clouds the facts and only though independent research can they get an accurate account of what life might be like for both them and their child after signing the adoption paperwork.

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