'It's a vindication': Sask. survivor welcomes Sixties Scoop ruling
Premier Brad Wall hasn't yet followed through on apology
A Saskatchewan woman is ecstatic about Tuesday's landmark court ruling on the Sixties scoop, calling it a powerful indictment of the federal government and all those who participated in Canada's "colonial" system.
Raven Sinclair is one of roughly 20,000 Indigenous children who were apprehended in the 1960s across Canada and placed in mostly non-Indigenous homes.
Ontario survivors sued the federal government for $1.3 billion. Tuesday, after a long fight, a judge ruled in the survivors' favour. A compensation amount will be determined at a later date.
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Sinclair and others in Saskatchewan weren't part of that action, but many are pursuing their own class action lawsuits here.
Sinclair said she's happy for the Ontario claimants.
"I'm just really ecstatic for so many other adoptees. It's a vindication, really," she said.
"We know what our experiences were. And somebody, groups of people, are saying, 'Yes, this was wrong.'"
Oppression continues: chief
Sinclair was taken from her mother at age four, along with her siblings.
She's now a social work professor on the University of Regina's Saskatoon campus and is studying to re-learn her original Nehiyawewin (Cree) language.
Silence is a clear communication. To me, this speaks volumes.- Raven Sinclair
Saskatoon Tribal Council Chief Felix Thomas hopes the ruling will finally force the federal government to change the way it treats Indigenous children. Thomas said the scoop is part of a sad legacy, which included residential schools.
He said the oppression continues under the current child welfare system.
"We need to realize the way Canada has been dealing with Indian children has been wrong, and they need to come up with a better way of trying to eradicate what they see as a problem."
Although the adoptions were part of a federal government program, the provincial governments also assisted.
No apology yet
More than a year ago, Premier Brad Wall pledged to issue an apology for the province's role in the Sixties Scoop.
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An official said Wall still plans to apologize once he and Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations Chief Bobby Cameron can co-ordinate their schedules.
Sinclair said she's not holding her breath.
"Silence is a clear communication. To me, this speaks volumes," she said.