Manitoba

Metis Federation launches website for Sixties Scoop survivors as part of effort to reach settlement

The Manitoba Metis Federation has launched a website aimed at collecting stories from survivors of the Sixties Scoop to strengthen efforts to reach a settlement with the federal government.

Manitoba Metis Federation's website will also aim to connect survivors so they can exchange stories

From left: Sixties Scoop survivor Duane Morrisseau-Beck, Manitoba Metis Federation vice-president Denise Thomas and MMF president David Chartrand at Tuesday's launch for a new website for Sixties Scoop survivors. (Sarah Petz/CBC)

The Manitoba Metis Federation has launched a website aimed at collecting stories from survivors of the Sixties Scoop to strengthen efforts to reach a settlement with the federal government.

The website, which can be found at sixties.scoop.metisportals.ca, is also meant to connect survivors to help them heal, the MMF said at a Tuesday launch for the site in Winnipeg.

"For many that were taken away, we lived in isolation and lived in a space of not feeling wanted, and feeling disconnected," said Duane Morrisseau-Beck, a survivor of the Sixties Scoop who is advising the Métis National Council, during Tuesday's launch.

"This initiative ... is something that is a miracle for many of us."

The Métis Nation's Sixties Scoop portal was launched during a press event at the Manitoba Metis Federation's headquarters on Tuesday. (Sarah Petz/CBC)

The Sixties Scoop is the catch-all name for a series of policies enacted by provincial child welfare authorities starting in the mid-1950s, which saw thousands of Indigenous children taken from their homes and families, placed in foster homes, and eventually adopted out to white families across Canada and the United States.

Those children typically lost their names, their language and a connection to their heritage. Many were also abused.

Last October, the federal government announced an $875-million agreement in principle with Sixties Scoop survivors, following years of fractious legal action. However, Métis survivors were left out of the agreement.

The Métis​ Nation is pursuing negotiation, rather than litigation, with Canada for a settlement for survivors of the Sixties Scoop.

Chartrand says he hopes the Métis can reach a settlement before October 2019. (Sarah Petz/CBC)

The website was created to help build a consensus around what survivors want, said Manitoba Metis Federation president David Chartrand.

"Nobody's ever asked what the ​Métis would need as justice. Nobody's ever asked us that," he said.

"We're hoping this portal will not only be a collection of stories, but also way for them to talk to each other as we move forward."

Chartrand said he's hoping the Métis can reach a settlement with Ottawa by October 2019 — prior to the next federal election — so they don't risk having to start the negotiation process all over again with a new government.

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