Canada

Sixties Scoop settlement the latest involving Canadian Indigenous people

Settlements vary from land claim disputes to reparations for residential school survivors

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Chief Marcia Brown Martel sings outside Ottawa's Parliament buildings following a government news conference Friday announcing a compensation package for Indigenous victims of the Sixties Scoop. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

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The $800-million proposed agreement with Sixties Scoop survivors that was announced by the federal government on Friday isn't the first aiming to compensate Indigenous people for historical wrongs.

In recent years, federal, provincial and territorial governments have reached settlements totalling billions of dollars.

Here are some prominent ones:

Ottawa, churches settle with Indian residential school survivors

In 2007, the federal government and a number of churches reached a $2-billion settlement, known as the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, with residential school survivors and their family members. The payout included a $1.9-billion Common Experience Payment Fund, along with several other funds for healing programs and reparations for survivors of sexual or serious physical abuse. It represented the country's largest-ever class action settlement.

Indigenous students at residential schools were forcibly taken from their homes and suffered physical, sexual and psychological abuse at the schools, the last of which closed in 1996. At the time of the settlement, there were about 80,000 living former students. To date, nearly all of the people estimated in the original number have been paid a total of over $1.6 billion under the payment fund.

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Residential school survivor Pauline Jones, 73, stops to touch the Reconciliation Pole before it's raised at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver in April. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

Algonquins of Ontario still in talks over unceded territory land claim

The federal and provincial governments remain in negotiations with the Algonquins of Ontario over rights to lands across eastern Ontario. In 2016, an agreement in principle was reached to sign over 36,000 square kilometres along with a possible $300-million payout. However, a senior negotiator for the Algonquin claim had predicted that number could rise.

Carolyn Bennett, the minister overseeing Indigenous affairs, had mentioned during last year's announcement about the proposed agreement that the privately owned land would not be touched. For more than 250 years, the Algonquin have laid claim to the land. Between 7,000 and 8,000 Algonquins stand to benefit from the settlement, according to a rough estimate given by Kirby Whiteduck, the chief of the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan.

Nunavut Inuit win battle over funding for educational resources

In 2015, after a nine-year legal battle, the federal and Nunavut governments agreed to a $255-million settlement with Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. Nunavut Inuit initially requested $1 billion as compensation for the government's failure to fulfil its obligations laid out in the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement. Those obligations included funding more educational resources, which the government did not fulfil.

Nunavut Inuit argued that the failure to provide educational training caused Inuit to be unable to pursue jobs in the public service that were promised to them in a land claim. Approximately 70 per cent of the settlement was designated to education and training initiatives to provide Inuit with employment skills and qualifications. 

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Approximately 70 per cent of the settlement was earmarked for education and training initiatives that can provide Inuit with skills and qualifications necessary for employment. (Nathan Dennette/Canadian Press)

Mississauga New Credit First Nations settle over GTA land claim

In 2010, after nearly seven years of negotiations, the government Canada agreed to a $145-million settlement with the Mississauga New Credit First Nations over a land claims dispute dating back to 1805. The dispute involved over 100,000 hectares of land situated in present-day GTA.

The Mississauga argued that the signatories at the time had not fully understood the implications of the treaty and disagreed with the boundaries that had been established. The government has acknowledged they had failed to comply with a land treaty created at the time of the Mississauga's surrender. 

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