Good morning friends! Being quite frustrated with our own U.S. politics I’m starting the day off with some ‘good news’ on an issue that I’ve long found super-important and try and highlight when given the chance. Hopefully it inspires activists here to continue fighting for the right to their heritage and for the government to acknowledge its own history of such actions.
After a bitter legal battle that has lasted nearly a decade, a Canadian judge has ruled that the government is liable for the harm inflicted on thousands of First Nations children who were forcibly removed from their families and adopted by non-indigenous families.
Between 1965 and 1984, around 16,000 indigenous children were fostered or put up for adoption in an episode which became known as the “Sixties Scoop”.
Ontario superior court justice Edward Belobaba’s ruling Tuesday found in favour of survivors of the operation and their families, who argued that the forced removal robbed the children of their cultural identity and caused emotional damage that has resonated for generations.
“There is … no dispute that great harm was done,” Belobaba wrote. “The ‘scooped’ children lost contact with their families. They lost their aboriginal language, culture and identity. Neither the children nor their foster or adoptive parents were given information about the children’s aboriginal heritage or about the various educational and other benefits that they were entitled to receive. The removed children vanished ‘scarcely without a trace’.”
“The evidence supporting the plaintiff on this is, frankly, insurmountable. In any event, Canada offered no evidence to suggest otherwise,” he said in the decision.
“The uncontroverted evidence of the plaintiff’s experts is that the loss of their aboriginal identity left the children fundamentally disoriented, with a reduced ability to lead healthy and fulfilling lives,” Balobaba wrote. “The loss of aboriginal identity resulted in psychiatric disorders, substance abuse, unemployment, violence and numerous suicides.”
The rest of what I’m reading/watching will go in the comments and as always you are quite welcome to join me! Thanks for stopping by!