TORONTO – Koskie Minsky LLP in Toronto has commenced a class action against the Attorney General of Canada in the Federal Court on behalf of individuals affected by the “Sixties Scoop” in Canada.The term “Sixties Scoop” refers to the practice in Canada whereby Aboriginal children were taken (“scooped up”) from their families for placing in foster homes or adoption with non-Aboriginal homes. As a result, it is alleged these “scooped” children lost their identity as Aboriginal persons and suffered mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. The plaintiff also claims, among other things, that she and class members were deprived of their status and other Aboriginal-related benefits, which Canada unjustly retained. Aboriginal communities describe the Sixties Scoop as destructive to their culture.
The claim alleges that by virtue of the Sixties Scoop in Canada, the Defendant was negligent and breached fiduciary duties owed to the Aboriginal class members.
The lawsuit is brought on behalf of “all Aboriginal persons in Canada, save for Excluded Persons, who were taken and placed in the care of non-Aboriginal foster or adoptive parents who did not raise the children in accordance with the Aboriginal person’s customs, traditions, and practices.”
“Excluded Persons” constitute “all Aboriginal persons in Ontario between December 1, 1965 and December 31, 1984 who were placed in the care of non-Aboriginal foster or adoptive parents who did not raise the children in accordance with the Aboriginal person’s customs, traditions, and practices.”
The lawsuit seeks $500 million in damages for breach of fiduciary duty and negligence and $100 million in punitive damages.
As stated by Kirk Baert, lead counsel at Koskie Minsky LLP, “the Sixties Scoop was a problem throughout Canada and this case represents a powerful and practical means for finally achieving access to justice for these aging and vulnerable class members, whom have all been deprived of their due recourse for far too long”.
For further information or if you are a class member: